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Burger-Flipping Pay for India Bank Chiefs Hurts Results

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Running a state-owned bank in India pays little more than flipping burgers at McDonald’s and Burger King outlets in Los Angeles International Airport, where the minimum cash wage is $11.03 an hour. In India, state-run bank chiefs make about $11.40.

They do get perks that American wage-earners don’t: a car, a driver and free housing. Still, the heads of India’s five biggest state-owned banks earn annual salaries and bonuses of 2 million to 2.5 million rupees ($32,400 to $40,500), based on the latest data available. That works out on average to about 705 rupees an hour for what bank spokesmen say are 60-hour workweeks that include Saturdays. Their pay is less than 5 percent of that at India’s private banks, where chief executive officers also earn stock options.