The average annual compensation of Company Secretaries at the top 500 firms listed on the BSE stood at Rs 50 lakh even though many of them got less than Rs 25 lakh, says a report.
The findings are based on an analysis of the secretarial audit reports of S&P BSE 500 companies by CimplyFive Corporate Secretarial Services — which provides research and technology based solutions for compliance with the Companies Act, 2013.
Secretarial Audit is a concept introduced in the Companies Act, 2013, whose most provisions came into effect from April 1, 2014.
“The average annual compensation of Rs 50 lakh reflects the increasing importance for compliance among S&P BSE 500 companies.
“However, this importance accorded is not uniform across all the companies analysed as reflected in 155 (31 per cent) companies where the CS gets less than Rs 25 lakh and another 142 (28 per cent) companies where they earn less than Rs 50 lakh,” the report said.
Under the Companies Act, 2013, company secretaries have an important role and are recognised as Key Managerial Personnel (KMP).
Besides, listing agreement with stock exchanges requires the CS to be designated as the Chief Compliance Officer of listed companies.
Out of the S&P BSE 500 companies, only 463 published secretarial audit report in their 2015 annual report, according to CimplyFive.
The remaining 37 companies were not required to publish it, as 19 were banks not incorporated under the Companies Act and the remaining 18 had calendar year 2014 as their financial year.
The analysis by CimplyFive also found that the top 10 auditors audited 100 companies and the top 5 audited 64 firms.
In terms of designation, it was found that 304 companies had CS title.
“The role of Company Secretary was in many cases combined with the role of general counsel and legal affairs as reflected in 67 (13 per cent) of the designations. In 54 (11 per cent) of cases, the stipulated role of chief compliance officer was reflected in their designations,” the report said.