Published by Forum in 1957

This code of conduct for Free Enterprise has been prepared by the Forum of Free Enterprise and is now placed before industrialists, businessmen and those belonging to different professions and vocations in India in the belief that they will find it worthy of acceptance and of application in their daily activities. The Forum pledges itself to do all it can to create a widespread awareness in the ranks of Free Enterprise of the obligations that are continued in this Code. We feel that Free Enterprise, which has been tested and proved by time and experience of all democratic societies, should maintain its reputation of insisting on high standards of integrity which are dictated by social purpose. Honesty, hard work, courtesy and continuous initiative are the foundations on which the edifice of Free Enterprise rests.

PRODUCERS and distributors owe it to the consumers of their products that they shall always be of the highest quality and available at reasonable cost. They shall maintain fair measure and guard against adulteration. Consumers are entitled to courtesy, promptness and good service and every endeavour shall be made to see that they receive them.

EMPLOYERS owe it to labour to recognise that welfare is not conceived in terms of philanthropy, but as a social obligation. Men and Women engaged in production shall do so with dignity, honour and a sense of security. Fair wages should be paid for work done. Working conditions shall be as pleasant as possible. Opportunities should be made available for the worker to gain technical skills and better his economic prospects and social status. Procedures should be instituted for the removal of legitimate grievances so that the employee is satisfied that he gets a fair deal. The employees should welcome the existence of stable and democratic trade unions. They should recognize that in the sphere of employee-management relations, as in other spheres, checks and balances are essential for the working out of rational and democratic solutions. They should recognise the role of labour as one of creative cooperation and recognise the need for providing increasing opportunities for consultation of employees and their progressive association with Management to help in the promotion of increased productivity from which all will benefit.

MANAGEMENT owes it to those who invest in their enterprise that they receive a fair return on their investments; commensurate with the risk they take. At the same time, reserves must be created for expansion and modernization of the plant and machinery and in their utilization the Management remains accountable to the investor. Money must also be provided for research. The earning by the shareholder of a fair return or profit by the entrepreneur under competitive conditions and after payment of fair wages must be regarded as a legitimate reward for the risk and the work of promotion and development which the community urgently needs. Certain malpractices have crept into the system of company management. They are to be condemned and should be removed. Hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering are anti-social and evil. Honest business practices can be promoted and encouraged by an honest and efficient administration in a democratic State.

PROFESSIONAL MEN – lawyers, teachers, doctors, auditors, or writers – owe it to those who avail themselves of their services or maintain the highest standards and traditions. They should discharge their duties truly and faithfully, and should always subordinate considerations of personal gain to the larger objective of service.

WE ALL owe it to the community that we accept our obligations as good citizens. We shall bear our share of taxation honesty. We condemn unequivocally any attempt at tax evasion. We shall actively participate in the promotion of social, cultural and civic improvements. Wealth or power shall not be a justification for vainglory or ostentatious display, but an opportunity for rendering service to the community.