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RBI governor Rajan among lowest paid central bank chiefs in world

business Updated: Apr 25, 2016 19:20 IST
Suchetana Ray
Suchetana Ray
Hindustan Times
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Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan ‘s stature as one of the most respected central bankers in the world does not match his salary. (REUTERS)

Raghuram Rajan might not be the top-paid executive at RBI, but with an annual package of close to Rs 24,00,000, the Governor is woefully under-paid in comparison to his counterparts the world over.

Rajan earns close to $36,000. US Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, though less paid than over 113 other Fed employees, takes home 5 times more than India’s Rajan. In 2014, Yellen’s annual salary was a little over $200,000.

European Central Bank chief, Mario Draghi is a little better at half a million dollars every year, whereas Bank of England chief, Mike Craney earned $993,900 in 2014 to turn around the British economy. The salaries are only a fraction of the perks and emoluments, including sought-after residential addresses, private planes and the works.

Raghuram Rajan arrived as the head of RBI in 2013, after an incredibly successful career that involved the correctly predicting the 2008 downturn, becoming the youngest chief economist at IMF, serving as the economic advisor to the prime minister and finance minister of India. In 2015, Rajan was also adjudged The Central Banker of the year by The Banker magazine.

The RBI governor’s salary does not match his stature; in fact, he doesn’t even have his private jet (though we are sure he doesn’t travel coach, but still…). Even the heads of private banks, who follow Rajan’s diktats are better paid than the governor, governing them. From Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank to Aditya Puri of HDFC Bank, they all take home salary cheques of $750,000 to $ 1.2 million, annually.

So, looks like, Raghuram Rajan will have to be happy with the biggest perk of being the RBI governor; putting his signature on all Indian currency notes.