India’s lawmakers are back to discussing fat-cat chief executive officers. Corporate affairs minister Salman Khursheed had raised the spectre of caps on executive pay last year. Now, barely a month after Parliament voted itself a pay increase, a parliamentary committee is contemplating “an outer ceiling on managerial remuneration”.
In countries with low per capita incomes, high salaries for some often lead to political heartburn. But resentment apart, there are worries as to what signals this sends about the nature of capitalism. Are big raises indicative of crony capitalism? Or do they merely reflect returns to certain skills that only some possess?
Members of Parliament (MPs) may have this in mind when they think about pay hike restrictions, as they seem to be doing now—though in this instance it is hard to separate their concerns for capitalism from plain envy against private firm executives who get much more than MPs do.