Reliance Industries boss Mukesh Ambani kept his annual salary capped at Rs 15 crore for the ninth year in a row and did not take any stock option even as the remuneration of most executive directors on the board rose. Ambani, the richest Indian, has kept salary, perquisites and allowances and commission at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09, forgoing almost Rs 24 crore per annum.
“The chairman and managing director’s compensation has been set at Rs 15 crore as against Rs 38.75 crore as approved, reflecting his desire to continue to set a personal example for moderation in managerial compensation levels,” RIL said in its annual report for 2016-17.
His remuneration for 2016-17 included Rs 4.16 crore as salary and another Rs 60 lakh by way of perquisites and allowances. He got retirement benefits of Rs 71 lakh and Rs 9.53 crore as commission on profit. The base salary, allowances, retirement benefits and commission on profit are the same as what he got in 2015-16.
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 16.58 crore each. They had earned Rs 14.42 crore and Rs 14.41 crore, respectively, in the previous year. 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 7.87 crore in 2016-17, from Rs 7.23 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 6.03 crore in 2014-15. Refinery chief Pawan Kumar Kapil, however, saw his compensation drop to Rs 2.54 crore, from Rs 2.94 crore in 2015 -16. He had earned Rs 2.41 crore in 2014-15.
RIL’s non-executive directors, including Nita Ambani, also got Rs 1.2 crore each as commission, besides sitting fees. Besides, Nikhil and Hital got stock options worth Rs 64.18 crore each, according to the annual report. Prasad got stock options of Rs 45 crore and Kapil got Rs 1 crore in stock options.
Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani, a non-executive director on the company’s board, earned Rs 4 lakh sitting fee and a commission of Rs 1.35 crore. The sitting fee was lower than Rs 6 lakh she earned in the previous year, but the commission was higher than Rs 1.20 crore in 2015-16.
Apart from Ambani, the RIL board has Meswani brothers, Prasad and Kapil as wholetime directors. Besides Nita Ambani, other non-executive directors include Dharam Vir Kapur, Dipak C Jain, Mansingh L Bhakta, Yogendra P Trivedi, Raminder Singh Gujral, Ashok Misra, Raghunath A Mashelkar and Adil Zainulbhai.