The Centre for Financial Accountability held a dialogue at Mumbai on July 7, 2023 to discuss the drafting and implementation of environmental and social safeguards in Indian banks and financial institutions. Safeguard mechanisms typically comprise investment standards and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that investments do not end up harming the environment, exacerbating climate crisis or adversely impacting communities. Safeguard mechanisms have provisions for impact assessment at pre-lending stage, and life cycle of the project, and grievance redressal mechanisms. Significantly, such provisions outline threshold criteria beyond which financing should be curtailed.

The discussion focussed on the need for safeguard mechanisms in Indian banks and financial institutions, especially as the latter are putting public savings and investments into large scale high impact projects.The discussion brought together stalwarts from fields of community work, advocacy, international law, and banking to advise on the plan to advocate for safeguard mechanisms in Indian banks and financial institutions. Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Shripad Dharmadhikary (Manthan), Ajitha Susan George (Bindrai Institute for Research Study and Action), Thomas Franco (Jan Sarokar), Ram Wangkheirakpam (Indigenous Perspectives), Siddharth Akali (International Lawyer), Priya Dharshini (Delhi Forum) participated in the dialogue and offered their insights.

We are pleased to present the report on Mumbai dialogues which documents the insights, suggestions, discussions, criticisms and action points which came up at the event.

Read and Download the report here: Consultation on safeguards policy framework for financial institutions: A Report