Former Gujarat chairman pocketed 53% pay increase and then failed to pay workers

Despite failing to pay workers’ wages and superannuation, Gujarat NRE’s former chairman received a 53% year-on-year rise in his base salary to $1.02 million in 2013.

The wage increase was detailed in the prospectus for Gujarat’s entitlement issue launch last week which included a salary table for the company’s directors.

It showed that Arun Jagatramka, who resigned 5 weeks ago after a successful takeover bid by Jindal Steel, received a cash salary and fees amount increase from $664,903 in 2012 to $1.02 million in 2013.

Factoring in “salary sacrifices”, share-based payments in both years and a “non-monetary benefit” of $132,496 in 2013, Jagatramka’s total earnings amounted to $813,867 in 2012 and increased by 64% to $1,332,337 in 2013, International Longwall News reported.

It also showed the proposed salary for Jagatramka’s successor Jasbir Singh was $114,450 for 2014, 11% of Jagatramka’s 2013 base salary.

The pay rise came as the troubled miner fell into deep financial issues this year as it stopped paying workers their superannuation in March and halted the payment of wages in September.

Employees at the mine only started to receive regular wages again in mid-October after Jindal took over as majority shareholder of the company in a deal worth $68.8 million.

Meanwhile, backpay owed to workers only started to flow earlier this month after Jindal bought another 726 million shares worth $58 million in the first round of its rights of issue share deal.

Gujarat has extended the rights of issue to other shareholders in an allowance which would see them buy two shares for every three at 8 cents per share.

About 625 million new shares will be up for sale, with the company aiming to raise a further $49.85 million.

The total rights issue is expected to be finalised by mid-December.

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