As markets await Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)' January-March quarter earnings, Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani has announced he will forego his entire salary for the year 2020-21, as per reports. Moreover, the entire board and senior leaders of RIL will reportedly take pay cuts ranging between 30 to 50% to offset losses due to Coronavirus. The pandemic had affected Ambani - who is India's richest man - with his net worth dropping 28 percent to $ 48 billion.
Reports quote a letter written by Executive Director Hital Meswani stating, "The hydrocarbon business has been adversely impacted due to a reduction in demand for refined products and petrochemicals. The situation demands that we maintain a razor-sharp focus on operating cost and fixed costs and all of us need to contribute to make this happen". The company has announced those earning less than Rs 15 lakh a year won't face pay cuts, but those earning higher than Rs 15 lakhs per annum, will have a 10% reduction in fixed pay, as per reports.
Reports further state that RIL has deferred annual cash bonuses and performance-linked incentives for the year. So far, the salary cut and deferment have been restricted only to Reliance's hydrocarbon business; no such announcement has yet been made about other businesses. Analysts state that RIL's Q4 earnings are expected to be strong due to Jio's performance, but may see a fall in its refining business due to falling oil prices.
Volatility in oil prices has been seen as Saudi Arabia slashed its prices in an alleged price war with Russia in order to boost demand. But due to the continued global lockdown and failure of OPEC talks, oil prices continued to fall as countries vow to cut 30% of oil production to match diminished demand. The oil industry witnessed a slump to -$39, for the first time in history. While India has not been majorly hit by oil prices as it imports 80% of its demands, the Centre has hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel to keep rates stable.