The government has urged the private sector to avoid paying “vulgar” salaries to their top executives, but ruled out a move to regulate them. What they earn
“I think when we’re working on this (austerity), we can hardly say that we (will) shut our eyes to what salary CEOs are going to take,” Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told news agency PTI on Sunday.
Khurshid’s remarks are in line with this government’s thinking. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, in May 2007, asked companies to “resist excessive remuneration to promoters and senior executives and discourage conspicuous consumption”.
The government has initiated a series of austerity measures lately, making ministers and senior officers travel economy class and with smaller delegations and calling off lavish state-sponsored galas.
Khurshid said the government would not regulate salaries of chief executives. But, he added, no one in India “has reached the level of liberalism where vulgarity is also a fundamental right”.
The issue of remuneration of company CEOs will be debated by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in the Lok Sabha in August, he said.
But India Inc had already showed it’s not waiting for government’s instructions.
Anil Ambani has foregone salaries and commissions of Rs 53 crore from his group companies — Reliance Communica-tions, Reliance Capital, Reliance Power, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Natural Resources — for 2008-09.