Friday, 11 May 2012

On Salary & Pension

On the first morning of the month the jingle of SMS from my banker that pension has been credited in my saving account, is sweet music to the ears. Smile gets broadened and sugar-less tea somehow gets sweetened.

Have you considered what is Pension & what is salary? Wikipedia says: A pension is fixed sum paid regularly to a person given following a retirement from service.

A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract.

Compare & Contrast

I had always wished & even now do so-that salary & pension should go up & up! But will every one agree to it? Not so it seems. Mukesh Ambani Chief of RIL has drawn same salary for last four successive fiscals- only Rs.15 cr p.a.! As per Annual Report of RIL 2011-2012,  "Compensation has been set at Rs.15 cr as against Rs.38.82 cr that he is eligible as per share holders approval, reflecting his desire to continue to set a personal example for moderation in managerial levels".

Good that this report has not been examined by my MD & Only Share Holder Smt GW.

Incidentally, my first salary for the month of Dec '72 was a princely sum of Rs.364.20. Me & other five boys had joined the bank on same day & received similar salaries. This called for a party & after serious deliberations we decided where else but Hotel Janpath! This was to be a first ever visit to a five star coffee shop! Well with wide open eyes looked around on furniture, chandeliers, liveried waiters, firangi guests & so on. Had pastries one each & tea & then stared at hefty bill of Rs.44. Well, well can't share this with Mukesh Ambani as he is not my friend on facebook.

Ancient Times 

But I wonder what was salary like in say 500 BC or 2500 BC or during Mahabharata? My search on Internet reveals that a clay tablet dated about 3100 BC provides a record of daily beer rations for workers in Mesopotamia! Further, Hebrew Book of Ezra ( 500 BC) mentions salt as pay "as being received from the Palace". There could have been different barter systems prevalent at that time e.g. you cut my hair i give a small fish OK ? Romans are said to have paid "Salarium" linked to employment of the soldiers.

Modern Scene

It is only after industrial revolution that corporates  & companies had come up having offices & managers. Like East India Company. Remuneration then was share holding & some sustenance money or salary. Now a days salary includes perks, bonus, incentives, commissions, Gratuity, Provident Fund etc etc. In India salary is usually paid on monthly basis on first of the month. Some Companies pay on 7th of the month & Godrej group is said to pay on 9th of the month.

Salary in Single Digit

Internet search reveals several foreign names drawing one dollar salary such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Arnold Schwarzenegger etc.
As regards Indian names in Rs.1 salary list,  search did not yield any information. In my incomplete list, Dr. Man Mohan Singh, & Bimal Jalan are there which needs authentication. Can you help?

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