Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
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Reliance cuts salaries, Mukesh Ambani won’t get any pay this year

Loss of demand for refined oil products and plastics has put pressure on the hydrocarbons business forcing Reliance to reduce costs.

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Singapore/New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s biggest company, plans to cut salaries of employees in its oil and petrochemicals business after a slump in fuel sales reduced revenue, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The owner of the world’s largest refining complex will cut wages by 10% for all employees earning more than 1.5 million rupees ($20,000) a year, the people said, asking not to be identified citing rules. Salaries of directors on the company’s board, and senior executives will be cut by as much as 50%. Payment of bonus for the year ended March 31 has also been deferred. Bonus is usually paid in the quarter ending June. Chairman Mukesh Ambani won’t get any salary this year.

Loss of demand for refined oil products and plastics has put pressure on the hydrocarbons business forcing the company to reduce costs, Reliance Industries’ Director Hital R. Meswani wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday, the people said. A spokesman at Reliance declined to comment.

Reliance joins companies from Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd. to South Africa’s Sasol Ltd. in cutting salaries as stay-at-home restrictions slash consumer demand and reduces sales. Reliance’s oil and petrochemicals business contributes about 75% to the energy-to-technology conglomerate’s revenues.

Also read:With Facebook’s Jio investment, the India story is back, despite pandemic

Colossal Drop

Lockdown of billions of people by governments across the world to contain the pandemic is leading to a gloomy outlook for global oil demand. OPEC expects sales of its crude to fall to the lowest in three decades and the International Energy Agency predicted that oil use would slump by a record this year and potentially make 2020 the worst in the market’s history. Oil consumption in India, the world’s third-biggest market, is set for a unprecedented slump in April amid an extended lockdown that has shut the Indian economy.

  • Reliance had a total 28,967 employees as on March 31, 2019, according to the company’s annual report
  • Mukesh Ambani earned salary and allowances of 44.5 million rupees that year, apart from 95.3 million rupees as commission

India’s refiners had to slash operating rates to less than 50% at some units to counter the fall that pushed storage capacity to almost 95% — including those in the 66,000 pump stations nationwide. A global glut amid weak demand and excessive production hit exports too. The world’s biggest independent oil storage company, Royal Vopak NV, has leased out almost all available space to store crude and refined fuels, it had said earlier this month.

Reliance’s export focused refinery operated only at 85% of capacity last month. Oil refiners are hunting for vessels to store jet-fuel and gasoline that nobody is buying, sending freight rates sharply higher, an indication that the global refining system is fast approaching a breaking point.

Also read: Days after Facebook-Reliance deal, JioMart begins field testing in Mumbai


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