Millennium Post

While workers wait for salaries, Kingfisher CEO gets a raise

Air carriers may be flying through rough weathers, but their top executives have got handsome pay hikes, while the CEO of the crisis-ridden Kingfisher has emerged as the second-highest paid among all his peers at the Vijay Mallya-led UB Group.

Among the country's three listed airlines also, Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal's pay package was the second highest in the last fiscal ended 31 March 2012, as per the remuneration details provided in their annual reports. Recently, Kingfisher had to announce a temporary lockout due to employee unrest, triggered by non-payment of salaries to the staff.

While Agarwal has said that he has also not been paid any salary since April as the airline does not have funds, his remuneration in the fiscal year 2011-12 rose nearly to Rs 4.01 crore, from Rs 2.12 crore in 2010-11.
Among Kingfisher's peers in the Indian airline industry, the pay package of Kalanithi Maran-led group's Spicejet chief Neil Raymond Mills rose even more sharply from Rs 1.75 crore to Rs 4.98 crore. Agarwal has previously served as Spicejet chief as well.

At the third listed Indian airline Jet Airways, Saroj Datta, who stepped down as the company's executive director in September 2011, was paid Rs 2.11 crore in just six months of the last fiscal 2011-12, representing an increase of about 25 per cent from his remuneration of Rs 1.69 crore in the entire 2010-11.

Jet's annual report for 2011-12 did not disclose any remuneration paid to its CEO Nikos Kardassis, while only Datta's pay package was mentioned among the executive directors.

As per the annual reports of seven listed companies of the UB group, its chairperson and main promoter Vijay Mallya was paid a total amount of about Rs 1.43 crore [mostly in sitting fees] from various group companies.

While Mallya was not paid anything at Kingfisher and another group firm UB Engineering, he got sitting fees of Rs 1.2 lakh from United Spirits, Rs one lakh each at United Breweries Ltd and Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers, Rs 34,550 at McDowell Holdings and Rs 1.4 lakh at United Breweries [Holdings] Ltd. Besides, Mallya received remuneration from two overseas subsidiaries, amounting to USD 1,20,000 [nearly Rs 63 lakh] and 89,600 British pounds [about Rs 76 lakh]  during the year 2011-12.

Two of the seven listed companies – McDowell Holdings and UB Holdings Ltd – did not pay any remuneration to their managing director Harish Bhat and Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers' MD Deepak Anand took a token salary of Re 1 per month. However, Bhat received remuneration of Rs 1.31 crore as an executive of an associate company of UB Holdings Ltd.

Kingfisher said in its annual report that Agarwal's stated remuneration 'excludes accrued leave encashment and gratuity since the same have been recognised for the Company as a whole and cannot be determined at an employee level'.
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