He may have foregone salary or commissions for 2008-09 as part of austerity measures, yet a pay package of over Rs 52 crore, as sitting fees and previous-year payments, has made industrialist Anil Ambani the country's top-paid executive for the year.
Had he not declared to give up his remuneration for the year, his pay package could have crossed Rs 100 crore or about Rs 27 lakh a day.
As Chairman of five of his group's listed companies -- Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Reliance Power, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd -- he was paid a total of Rs 52.078 crore during the last fiscal, representing an annual increase of nearly Rs 10 crore.
The total amount paid to Anil Ambani in 2008-09 exceeds the same for any other executive by the companies which have furnished the remuneration details for their top executives during the latest fiscal.
This is despite the industrialist foregoing any salary or commissions from all these companies, and the remuneration during the year only comprises sitting fees for attending the board as a director and the payments towards commissions for the previous fiscal 2007-08.
During 2007-08, Anil's elder brother Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, was the top-paid executive in the country with total remuneration of Rs 44.02 crore. However, Mukesh Ambani's remuneration for 2008-09 is not known as RIL is yet to come out with its balance sheet for the year.
According to latest balance sheets of Anil's group companies, he was paid only Rs 7.8 lakh by the five of them for 2008-09 -- the entire amount being towards sitting fees or payments for attending meetings of boards and board committees -- if the commissions for the previous year are excluded.
Addressing shareholders at the AGM of RCOM earlier this month, Anil had said that he was not taking any salary and commission, totalling around Rs 30 crore, from the company for 2008-09 due to recession.
However, he was paid Rs 52 crore towards previous-year commissions at RCOM, R-Infra and R-Cap, while no commissions were paid to him by R-Power and RNRL in 2008-09.
In comparison, Anil's total remuneration at all his group companies stood at Rs 43.43 crore during 2007-08. He had not taken any salary even during 2007-08 at four of his group companies -- RCOM, R-Cap, R-Power and RNRL.
While he was paid a salary of Rs 10.95 crore at R-Infra during 2007-08, he got commissions at RCOM and R-Cap and only sitting fees at R-Power and RNRL in that year.
During the latest fiscal 2008-09, Anil was paid commission of Rs 30 crore for previous year and sitting fees of Rs 2.2 lakh at RCOM. Besides, he was paid Rs 11 crore as commission each at R-Infra and R-Cap for the previous year.
As sitting fees, Anil got Rs 2.2 lakh at RCOM, Rs one lakh at R-Power, Rs 80,000 at Rs R-Cap, Rs 2.6 lakh at RNRL and Rs 1.2 lakh at R-Infra. MORE
While Anil's remuneration has grown by about 24 per cent in the latest fiscal, it had surged nearly 18-times in 2007-08 -- growing to Rs 43.43 crore from Rs 2.4 crore in 2006-07.
In comparison, Mukesh's salary had grown by about 45 per cent in 2007-08 from Rs 30.46 crore in the previous fiscal.
Mukesh's annual remuneration, in 2006-07, increased by about 23 per cent from Rs 24.77 crore in the previous fiscal.
When the two brothers were together, they received a package of Rs 21.9 crore each at Reliance Industries in the financial year 2004-05. While Mukesh at that time was CMD at Reliance Industries, a position he continues to hold, Anil was vice-chairman and managing director till June 18, 2005.