No salary hike for Mukesh Ambani for 11 years

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

Ambani has kept salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at ₹15 crore since 2008-09, forgoing over₹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 ₹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 ₹4.45 crore as salary and allowances, which is marginally lower than ₹4.49 crore he got in the previous 2017-18 fiscal.

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

Ambani voluntarily capped his compensation at ₹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 ₹20.57 crore each. They earned₹19.99 crore each in 2017-18 and ₹16.58 crore in 2016-17. In 2015-16, Nikhil had got ₹14.42 crore while Hital took home₹14.41 crore. In 2014-15, they had got ₹12.03 crore each.

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

Refinery chief Pawan Kumar Kapil saw his compensation rise to₹4.17 crore from ₹3.47 crore in 2017-18. In the previous fiscal, his remuneration had fallen to ₹2.54 crore, from ₹2.94 crore in 2015-16. He had earned ₹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₹1.65 crore each as commission, besides sitting fees. The commission was ₹1.5 crore in 2017-18 and ₹1.3 crore in the previous year.

Former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya got only ₹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 ₹7 lakh as sitting fee, up from ₹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.