New Delhi: RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, currently in the eye of the storm over his 'one-eyed is king among blind' remark, may be the most powerful person at the central bank, but he does not appear to be the top-paid one! As per the latest details published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Right To Information Act, Rajan's total 'monthly emoluments' stood at Rs 1,98,700. This included a basic pay of Rs 90,000, Dearness Allowance of Rs 1,01,700 and 'others' of Rs 7,000.
However, the 'monthly emoluments' were higher than that of Rajan in case of at least three others -- Gopalkrishna Sitaram Hegde (Rs 4 lakh), Annamalai Arappuli Gounder (Rs 2,20,355) and V Kandasamy (Rs 2.1 lakh), as per the RBI's list of 'monthly emoluments of employees'.
The latest available public figures, published by RBI on its website under the RTI Act, are for the period of June-July 2015 and it could not be ascertained whether these three persons are still with the RBI.
While RBI did not disclose their designations along with the 'monthly emoluments', Hegde has served as its 'Principal Legal Advisor' in the past.
The total emoluments for Hegde and Kandasamy did not include basic pay or DA components.
Repeated queries sent to Alpana Killawala, the RBI spokesperson, did not elicit any response including on the latest salary figures of the top executives including Rajan. Interestingly, the published monthly emoluments of Killawala, designated as Principal Adviser in Department of Communications at RBI, were higher than that of the four Deputy Governors and 11 Executive Directors whose pay packages have been made public by the central bank on its website. In RBI hierarchy, the Governor is followed by the four Deputy Governors (DGs) and then by the EDs, while the heads of various departments come thereafter.
The Governor remains on the top in terms of basic pay. The total monthly emoluments for each DG stood at Rs 1,73,900, while that of the ED was Rs 1,70,864.
The total emoluments are higher than that of DGs in case of at least 23 'employees' including Killawala, whose total has been disclosed as Rs 1,78,265. This included basic pay of Rs 67,000, DA of Rs 85,239 and 'other' payments of Rs 26,026. At least 44 'employees' earned more than the EDs.
Under the RTI Act, every public authority is required to publish "the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations".
RBI has published on its website the "monthly emoluments of top management (as on July 1, 2015)" as also the "monthly emoluments of employees (as on June 30, 2015)". While the first section provides monthly emoluments of Rajan, four DGs and 11 EDs, the second section has more than 16,000 entries from across the country some of which are for 'total monthly emoluments' of less than Rs 10,000.
Rajan, formerly Chief Economist at IMF and on-leave professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, joined RBI as its Governor nearly three years ago and his current term would end in September this year.
His recent comments, wherein he said India being tagged as the 'bright spot in a rather gloomy global economy' was like a one-eyed being king among blind, have sparked speculation on whether he would get an extension.
Later, Rajan sought to contextualise his comments, but still warned against being 'euphoric' about India's current economic growth rate and said as a central banker he needed to be 'pragmatic'.