Monday, November 09, 2009

Rich pickings for independent directors

Naresh Chandra, former cabinet secretary, made a cool Rs 2 crore from his independent directorships last year, according to an ET story. This included Rs 75 lakh from Vedanta. Omkar Goswami, the economist, raked in Rs 1.3 crore. Deepak Satwalekar, formerly of the HDFC group, and Rama Bijapurkar, marketing consultant, are among the big earners.

Not to grudge anybody their earnings but has there been any attempt to evaluate board performance and contributions of board members? And what is an optimal level of payment for board members? When payments are too low, you can't get good people. Whey they are too high, you can't expect independence.

I don't have the answers. But I am surprised these questions aren't being pursued. I guess it suits all concerned not to be asking these questions.

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