The handbook on ‘Need for Environmental and Social Safeguards for Financial Institutions’ makes a case for implementation of safeguards mechanisms in financial institutions (FIs) which includes banks and non-banking FIs. While people’s movements the world over, especially the global south, against disastrous social and environmental consequences of mega infrastructure projects have led to multilateral development banks like World Bank implement such measures, Indian banks have so far not followed on these lines. This is ironical because since last three decades Indian banks have expanded their lending portfolios to invest in high impact mega infrastructure projects often in fragile ecological and social geographies.
Thus, Indian FIs too need to implement environmental and social safeguards, which comprise environmental and social impact assessment, grievance redressal mechanism, free, prior and informed consent, threshold criteria beyond which no financing should happen.
The handbook unpacks the notion of safeguards and demonstrates their value from both an ecological and social risk perspective, and from a futures financial perspective.
Read and download the handbook here: Need for Environment and Social Safeguard Policy for Indian Financial Institutions | Handbook