Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal's remuneration fell nearly five per cent in the financial year 2021-22 to ₹15.39 crore on lower perquisite value, according to the telecom company's annual report. The gross remuneration of the telecom industry stalwart and Airtel's top honcho stood at ₹16.19 crore in the year 2020-21.

While Mittal's salary and allowances, and performance-linked incentive in 2021-22 were similar to 2020-21, the fall in gross remuneration came largely on account of lower perquisites in the just-concluded fiscal.

In 2021-22, the perquisites stood at ₹83 lakh, against ₹1.62 crore in the previous fiscal, a comparison of the annual reports for two years showed.

In FY22, Mittal's salary and allowances were at about ₹10 crore, and the performance-linked incentive was ₹4.5 crore. In response to an email query by PTI, an Airtel spokesperson said: "There has been no change in the overall remuneration of Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, from last year. The insignificant downward change reflected in integrated report 2021-22 is attributable to change in perquisite value." The gross remuneration of Bharti Airtel Managing Director Gopal Vittal rose 5.8 per cent in FY22 to ₹15.25 crore.

Vittal's salary and allowances were at ₹9.14 crore, and performance-linked incentive at ₹6.1 crore, during the year 2021-22. Both salary and allowances as well as performance-linked incentive were higher year-on-year.

"There is a nominal increase in the remuneration of MD and CEO, which is in line with the industry practice. The same has been approved by the board on recommendation of HR and nomination committee and within limits approved by shareholders," the spokesperson added.

For the full year FY22, the Sunil Mittal-led telco had reported a net profit of ₹4,255 crore, against a loss of ₹15,084 crore in the previous fiscal (FY21), marking a turnaround of performance in a market that saw announcement of significant reforms.

Geared up for 5G

Bharti Airtel had posted a revenue of ₹1,16,547 crore for FY22, up from ₹1,00,616 crore recorded in the previous financial year. This translated into a top-line growth of about 16 per cent for the full year.

In his note to shareholders in the latest annual report, Vittal informed that the company is "fully ready" for 5G and that its core network, radio network and transport network is fully future-proof.

"We demonstrated our readiness for 5G by conducting industry-first trials that focused on both consumer and industrial use cases," Vittal said.

Mittal said that the company will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a powerful network to support the country's digital-first economy.

The countdown for spectrum auctions has begun and the Indian market is geared up for 5G services, which will usher in ultra-high speeds (about 10 times faster than 4G) and spawn new-age offerings and business models. A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of radiowaves worth at least ₹4.3 lakh crore will be put on the block during the auction, scheduled to begin on July 26.

As a precursor to the mega event, the telecom department held a mock auction or mock drill on Friday and Saturday (July 22 and July 23). Besides Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and a unit of billionaire Gautam Adani's flagship Adani Enterprise Ltd are set to participate in the auction of 5G spectrum.

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