Mukesh Ambani keeps salary capped at Rs 15 cr for 11th yr in a row

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Mukesh Ambani

New Delhi: Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani has kept his annual salary from his flagship firm Reliance Industries capped at Rs 15 crore for the eleventh year on the trot.

Ambani has kept salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09, forgoing over Rs 24 crore per annum.

This is at a time when remunerations of all whole-time directors of the company, including cousins Nikhil and Hital Meswani, saw a handsome increase in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

“Compensation of Shri 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,” RIL said in its latest annual report.

His remuneration for 2018-19 included Rs 4.45 crore as salary and allowances, which is marginally lower than Rs 4.49 crore he got in the previous 2017-18 fiscal.

Commission has been unchanged at Rs 9.53 crore while perquisites have risen to Rs 31 lakh from Rs 27 lakh. Retirement benefits were Rs 71 lakh.

Ambani voluntarily capped his compensation at Rs 15 crore in October 2009 amid a debate over right-sizing of CEO salaries. The salary cap continued even as all other executive directors saw their remunerations go up.

Ambani’s cousins Nikhil R Meswani and Hital R Meswani saw their compensation rise to Rs 20.57 crore each. They earned Rs 19.99 crore each in 2017-18 and Rs 16.58 crore in 2016-17. In 2015-16, Nikhil had got Rs 14.42 crore while Hital took home Rs 14.41 crore. In 2014-15, they had got Rs 12.03 crore each.

Also, one of his key executives, Executive Director P M S Prasad saw his remuneration go up to Rs 10.01 crore from Rs 8.99 crore in the previous year. He too has seen his remuneration rise steadily from Rs 6.03 crore in 2014-15, to Rs 7.23 crore in the next fiscal and Rs 7.87 crore in 2016-17.

Refinery chief Pawan Kumar Kapil saw his compensation rise to Rs 4.17 crore from Rs 3.47 crore in 2017-18. In the previous fiscal, his remuneration had fallen to Rs 2.54 crore, from Rs 2.94 crore in 2015-16. He had earned Rs 2.41 crore in 2014-15. The two however did not get any commission in 2018-19.

“Performance criteria for two Executive Directors, entitled for Performance Linked Incentive (PLI), are determined by the Human Resources, Nomination and Remuneration Committee,” RIL said in the annual report.

RIL’s non-executive directors, including Nita Ambani, also got Rs 1.65 crore each as commission, besides sitting fees. The commission was Rs 1.5 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1.3 crore in the previous year.

Former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya got only Rs 75 lakh as commission as she was appointed to the board of RIL only with effect from October 17, 2018.

Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani, a non-executive director on the company’s board, earned Rs 7 lakh as sitting fee, up from Rs 6 lakh in the previous year.

Apart from Ambani, the RIL board has Meswani brothers, Prasad and Kapil as wholetime directors.

Besides Nita Ambani, other non-executive directors include Mansingh L Bhakta, Yogendra P Trivedi, Dipak C Jain, Raghunath A Mashelkar, Adil Zainulbhai, Raminder Singh Gujral, Shumeet Banerji and Aruundhati Bhattacharya.

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