On Wednesday, the managing trustee of Tata sons R Venkataraman resigned from the organization; he holds 66 percent of stake in the company. Some rumors were going around in the last week that few trustees were unhappy about the high compensation that was offered to him by the company amounting to Rs. 2.66 crore.
On the other side of the news, Noel Tata half-brother of Ratan Tata has been appointed as the new trustee for Sir Ratan Tata Trust. It is the second largest trust as compared to other charities. From March 31, 2019, onwards Venkataramanan will be freed from all the responsibilities of the Managing Trustee; Tata Trusts confirmed the statement.
R Venkataramanan who is involved in tax compensation issue and is also under the scanner of investigating agencies for bribery and lobbying case to modify the policy of the government which includes AirAsia, finally said that he is stepping down from his post.
In order to maintain the association with the Tata family and with the charitable trust which manages the Tata Group, Noel Tata has been appointed as a trustee for Sir Ratan Tata Trust. Later Noel will also be appointed as a trustee for Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. While the Chairman of Tata Group, Ratan Tata is 81 and Noel his half-brother is 62.
A panel of trustee has been formed with immediate effect to look over the various operations of the Tata Trusts and also to appoint Chief Executive for the Trusts. The panel mostly includes Ratan. N. Tata who is the Chairman of the Trusts, bureaucrat Vijay Singh and TVS Group’s Venu Srinivasan, both of them are also the Vice Chairman of Tata Trusts.
On Wednesday, the meeting nearly lasted for 5 hours during which the board of trustees took a decision and said that R Venkataramanan request to free him from all his duties had been approved. Venkataramanan was serving for almost 5 years as Managing Trustee and was about to complete his 5 years of service. During this time he served as a nominee of Tata Sons for AirAsia India which is a joint project shared between Malaysia headquartered AirAsia and Tata Sons.
Meanwhile, R Venkataramanan has been backed by Tata Trusts and assured their trust and support to him. He is mostly known as Venkat in his office and according to speculation he might move to London and may be given new responsibilities by the Tata group in their company.
Venkataramanan is very close to Ratan Tata, the chairman of the trusts, while Venkat is under the scanner for money laundering case which has been investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (RBI).
AirAsia India is a joint venture between the two and holds a 51:49 stake in the venture, Venkatraman is also the director and the shareholder of AirAsia. The CBI says that he was changing government policies through illegal means in order to get an international license for the joint venture AirAsia India.
The reports also mentioned that, Noel. The Tata Trustees have appointed N. Tata who is the Chairman of Trent Ltd and Managing director of Tata International, Jehangir .H. C Jehangir who is the longstanding philanthropist, at present in charge of the healthcare mission at Jehangir Hospital in Pune has also been appointed as Trustees for Sir Ratan Tata Trust.
During the previous year, the Tata Trusts and Income tax department both have been fighting in the Bombay High Court for showcase notice issue which was issued by the tax officers. The tax officers were about to cancel the Tata Trust License under I-T act of 12(A) for tax exemption.
The showcase notice claimed that Tata sons were violating the rules that were governing the use of funds of the Trusts basically for a tax exception. According to the I-T law of section 12A, the non-profit organization and the trust can request for tax benefits, although the tax exemption can be canceled if the trust has been noticed of using illegal methods.