Over the past decade, India's richest man Mukesh Ambani has voluntarily missed out on almost Rs 24 crore each year to set an example. This stems from his decision to cap his salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at Rs 15 crore in October 2009, amid a debate over rightsizing of CEO salaries.
"Compensation of Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, has been set at Rs 15 crore, reflecting his desire to continue to set a personal example for moderation in managerial compensation levels," Reliance Industries said in its latest annual report, released yesterday.
His remuneration for 2017-18 included Rs 4.49 crore as salary and allowances, which is marginally higher than the Rs 4.16 crore he received in financial year 2016-17. The commission has remained unchanged at Rs 9.53 crore while perquisites have declined to Rs 27 lakh from Rs 60 lakh. Retirement benefits stood at Rs 71 lakh.
However, Ambani has not enforced his decision on others in his company. The remunerations of all other whole-time directors show handsome raises in the year ending March 2018. For example, Ambani's cousins Nikhil Meswani and Hital Meswani saw their compensation rise to Rs 19.99 crore each. They had earned Rs 16.58 crore each in 2016-17, up from around Rs 14.4 crore the previous fiscal and Rs 12.03 crore each in 2014-15.
Another of Ambani's key executives, Executive Director PMS Prasad has seen his remuneration steadily rise to Rs 8.99 crore, up about 33 per cent from Rs 6.03 crore in 2014-15. Similarly, refinery chief Pawan Kumar Kapil saw his compensation rise to Rs 3.47 crore. In the previous fiscal, his remuneration had fallen to Rs 2.54 crore, from Rs 2.94 crore in 2015-16. Kapil took home Rs 2.41 crore in 2014-15.
Reliance non-executive directors also received Rs 1.5 crore each as commission - about 15 per cent higher than the previous fiscal -which is in addition to sitting fees. Ambani's wife Nita Ambani, a non-executive director on the company's board, earned Rs 6 lakh sitting fee. The company's other non-executive directors include Mansingh Bhakta, Yogendra Trivedi, DV Kapur, Ashok Misra, Dipak Jain, Raghunath Mashelkar, Adil Zainulbhai, Raminder Singh Gujral and Shumeet Banerji.
Though Ambani has conscientiously capped his salary for a decade now, he continues to climb the Forbes annual list of billionaires. The latest rankings show that he became richer by $16.9 billion in 2018 with assets of $40.1 billion, taking him to the 19th rank among 2,208 billionaires worldwide. In 2017, he had ranked 33rd on the list.
With agency inputs
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