Kumara Mangalam Birla Committee6th May 2021 1 By indiafreenotes
K.M. Birla Committee was set up by SEBI in the year 2000. In fact, this Committee’s recommendation culminated in the introduction of Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement to be complied with by all listed companies. Practically most of the recommendations were accepted and included by SEBI in its new Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement in 2000.
The main recommendations of the Committee are:
(a) The board of a company should have an optimum combination of executive and nonexecutive directors with not less than 50% of the board comprising the non-executive directors. In case, a company has a non-executive chairman, at least one-third of board should be comprised of independent directors and in case, a company has an executive chairman, at least half of the board should be independent.
(b) Independent directors are directors who apart from receiving director’s remuneration do not have any other material pecuniary relationship or transaction with the company, its promoters, management or subsidiaries, which in the judgement of the board may affect their independence of judgement.
(c) A director should not be a member in more than ten committees or act as chairman of more than five committees across all companies in which he is a director. It should be a mandatory annual requirement for every director to inform the company about the committee positions he occupies in other companies and notify changes as and when they take place.
(d) The disclosures should be made in the section on corporate governance of the annual report:
- All elements of remuneration package of all the directors, i.e., salary, benefits, bonus, stock options, pension etc.
- Details of fixed component and performance linked incentives along with the performance criteria,
- Service contracts, notice and period, severance fees,
- Stock option details, if any, and whether issued at a discount as well as the period over which accrued and exercisable.
(e) In case of appointment of a new director or re-appointment of a director, the shareholders must be provided with the information:
- A brief resume of the director,
- Nature of his experience in specific functional areas, and
- Names of companies in which the person also holds the directorship and the membership of committees of the board.
(f) Board meetings should be held at least four times in a year, with a maximum times gap of 4 months between any two meetings. The minimum information (specified by the committee) should be available to the board.
(g) A qualified and independent audit committee should be set up by the board of the company in order to enhance the credibility of the financial disclosures of a company and promote transparency. The committee should have minimum three members, all being non-executive directors, with majority being independent, and with at least one director having financial and accounting knowledge. The chairman of the committee should be an independent director and he should be present at AGM to answer shareholder queries.
Finance director and head of internal audit and when required, a representative of the external auditor should be present as invitees for the meetings of the audit committee. The committee should meet at least thrice a year. One meeting should be held before finalization of annual accounts and one necessarily every six months. The quorum of the meeting should be either two members or one-third of the members of the committee, whichever is higher and there should be a minimum of two independent directors.
(h) The board should set up a remuneration committee to determine on their behalf and on behalf of the shareholders with agreed terms of reference, the company’s policy on specific remuneration package for executive directors including pension rights and any compensation payment. The committee should comprise of at least three directors, all of who should be non-executive directors, the chairman of the committee being an independent director.
(i) A board committee under the chairmanship of a non-executive director should be formed to specifically look into the redressal of shareholder complaints like transfer of shares, non-receipt of balance sheet, declared dividends etc., The committee should focus the attention of the company on shareholders’ grievances and sensitize the management of redressal of their grievances,
(j) The companies should be required to give consolidated accounts in respect of all their subsidiaries in which they hold 51% or more of the share capital.
(k) Disclosures must be made by the management to the board relating to all material, financial and commercial transactions, where they have personal interest that may have a potential conflict with the interest of the company at large. All pecuniary relationships or transactions of the non-executive directors should be disclosed in the annual report.
(l) As part of the Directors’ Report or as an additional thereto, a management discussion and analysis report should form part of the annual report to the shareholders.
(m) The half-yearly declaration of financial performance including summary of the significant events in last six months should be sent to each household of shareholders,
(n) The company should arrange to obtain a certificate from the auditors of a company regarding compliance of mandatory recommendations and annex the certificate with the Directors’ Report, which is sent annually to all the shareholders of the company,
(o) There should be a separate section on corporate governance in the annual reports of companies, with a detailed compliance report on corporate governance.