Billionaire Mukesh Ambani for the second year in a row drew no salary from his flagship firm Reliance Industries in the last fiscal as he voluntarily gave up remuneration in light of the pandemic hitting the business and economy. In its latest annual report, Reliance said Ambani’s remuneration for the financial year 2020-21 was “nil”.
In June 2020, Mukesh D Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, voluntarily decided to forego his salary for the year 2020-21, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, which exacted a huge toll on the societal, economic and industrial health of the nation. He continued to forgo his salary in 2021-22 as well.
In both these years, Ambani did not avail of any allowances, perquisites, retiral benefits, commission or stock options from Reliance for his role as the Chairman and Managing Director. Prior to that, the Chairman and Managing Director had his salary capped at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09 in order to set a personal example of moderation in managerial compensation levels.
The Rs 15 crore salary in 2019-20 was the same as in the previous 11 years. Ambani has kept salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09, forgoing over Rs 24 crore per annum. “In light of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, which has exacted a huge toll on the societal, economic and industrial health of the nation, Mukesh D Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director, has voluntarily decided to forego his salary,” the company had said in June 2020.
The remuneration of his cousins Nikhil and Hital Meswani remained unchanged at Rs 24 crore but this time it included a Rs 17.28 crore commission. Executive Directors PMS Prasad and Pawan Kumar Kapil saw their remuneration fall marginally. While Prasad drew Rs 11.89 crore in 2021-22, down from Rs 11.99 crore in 2020-21, Kapil got Rs 4.22 crore, lower than Rs 4.24 crore in the previous year.
The payment of Prasad and Kapil included “performance-linked incentives for FY 2020-21 paid in FY 2021-22,” the annual report said.Ambani’s wife Nita, a non-executive director on the company’s board, earned Rs 5 lakh as a sitting fee and another Rs 2 crore commission for the year. She had in the previous year got Rs 8 lakh sitting fee and another Rs 1.65 crore commission.
Apart from Ambani, the RIL board has the Meswani brothers, Prasad and Kapil as wholetime directors.Besides Nita Ambani, other non-executive directors include Dipak C Jain, Raghunath A Mashelkar, Adil Zainulbhai, Raminder Singh Gujral, Shumeet Banerji, former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and former CVC KV Chowdary.While all independent directors got a Rs 2 crore commission, Yasir O Al-Rumayyan, Managing Director and a Board Member of PIF – the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, got Rs 1.40 crore. He was appointed to the board with effect from July 19, 2021.