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Highest paid world leaders: Obama tops, Modi 12th

Last updated on: March 13, 2015 20:28 IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin last week signed into law a decree that slashed all government workers' salaries, including his own, as increased economic sanctions and plummeting oil prices batter Russia’s economy. News reports said that the President had taken a 10 per cent salary cut to counter the country’s economic woes.

Putin, who by some accounts is considered the wealthiest man on earth, had an income of almost $187,000 (about Rs 1.17 crore) in 2012.

So how does the Russian President’s salary compare to other top world leaders? According to using official data here is how world leaders' salaries stack up.

United States President Barack Obama

$400,000 (about Rs 2.5 crore)

Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The 44th President of the United States Barack Obama's base salary is $400,000 a year. He also has access to a $50,000 (about Rs 31 lakh) annual expense account, a $100,000 (about Rs 66 lakh) non-taxable travel account, and $19,000 (about Rs 11 lakh) for entertainment.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

$260,000 (about Rs 1.6 crore)

Photograph: Mark Blinch/Reuters

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the second most paid political leader in the world.

German chancellor Angela Merkel

$234,400 (about Rs 1.4 crore)


Photograph: Koji Sasahara/Reuters

As German chancellor Angela Merkel's salary is set at 216,000 euros a year (about Rs 1.4 crore). The chancellor and her ministers got a 2.2 per cent pay rise at the beginning of March, according to government documents, CNN reported.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma

$223,500 (about Rs 1.4 crore)

Photograph: Rodger Bosch/Pool/Reuters

Among BRICS leaders South African President Jacob Zuma leads the pack by being the fourth highest paid world leader.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

$214,800 (about Rs 1.3 crore)


Photograph: Lynne Cameron/pool/Reuters

The British prime minister earns £142,500 (about Rs 1.3 crore) a year. That includes his salary as a member of parliament, which is £67,060 (about Rs 62 lakh).

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

$202,700 (about Rs 1.2 crore)


Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

Japan's youngest post-war prime minister comes in sixth on the list.

French President Francois Hollande

$194,300 (about Rs 1.2 crore)

Photograph: Alain Jocard/Pool/Reuters

The President of France took a 30 per cent salary cut when he took office in 2012. The move was in stark contrast to what his predecessor did when he came into office. Nicolas Sarkozy gave himself a raise of 170 per cent.

Without the cut Hollande would have earned 255,600 euros a year (around Rs 1.7 crore), second only to Obama.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

$140,000 (about Rs 88 lakhs)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s monthly salary is $140,000 (about Rs 88 lakh). Note that this amount is after he took a 36 per cent pay cut last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

$136,000 (about Rs 85 lakh)


Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters

Putin said last week he was cutting his salary by 10 per cent and now earns roughly 8.2 million rubles per year (about Rs 85 lakh).

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi 

$124,600 (about Rs 78 lakh)

Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Italian PM Matteo Renzi makes it to the ninth spot earning $1,24,600 (about Rs 78 lakh).

President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff

$120,000 (around Rs 75 lakh)


Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Dilma Rousseff earns 39.6 times Brazil's minimum wage and is the tenth highest paid head of state.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

$30,300 (Rs 19 lakh)


Photograph: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the 11th highest paid world leader, ahead of the Chinese head of state. Quoting information obtained from an RTI application, Modi's annual salary is pegged at Rs 19,00,000. 

Cinese President Xi Jinping

$22,000 (about Rs 14 lakh)


Photograph: Fred Dufour/Reuters

He might be in charge of the world's second largest economy with a GDP of $10 trillion, but Chinese President Xi Jinping's salary is just $22,000 (about Rs 14 lakh). And that's after a 60 per cent pay rise at the start of this year, CNN reported.

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