Reliance Industries on Thursday announced up to 50% pay cuts for some top oil-and-gas division employees as it deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Chairperson Mukesh Ambani will give up his entire compensation.
Employees earning more than Rs 15 lakh a year will face a 10% cut while senior executives will have to take 30% to 50% salary cuts, the news agency reported, quoting the company’s officials.
“The hydrocarbons business has been adversely impacted due to reduction in demand for refined products and petrochemicals,” Executive Director Hital Meswani said in a letter to the employees. “The situation demands that we maintain razor sharp focus on operating costs and fixed costs and all of us need to contribute to make this happen. Our Chairman [Ambani] has agreed to forgo his entire compensation.”
Reliance Industries has also deferred annual cash bonus to the employees and performance-based incentives, according to The Economic Times.
It is still unclear whether other Reliance divisions will be affected. The company’s telecom unit, Reliance Jio Infocomm, did not appear to have been impacted as of Thursday, Reuters reported, quoting sources. Last week, social media giant Facebook had bought a 9.99% stake in Reliance-owned Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion, or Rs 43,574 crore.
Ambani’s net worth had reduced by $5.8 billion as a result of the steep fall in oil prices and global stocks due to the coronavirus pandemic and he was dethroned as ‘Asia’s Richest Man’ by Alibaba’s Jack Ma. After the deal with Facebook, Ambani reclaimed the title.
On Monday, Reliance Industries said it would consider its first rights issue in almost 30 years, part of its commitment to eliminate net debt by 2021. Reliance Industries’ outstanding debt was about $43 billion at the end of last year.