Soonawala steps down from Tata Trusts on health grounds

MUMBAI, Mar 27: Tata Trusts Wednesday said

group veteran NA Soonawala has stepped down from the

trusteeship of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trusts and the Sir Ratan

Tata Trusts due to health and advancing age.

Tata Trusts is a string of non-profits and owns 66

percent in the diversified conglomerate Tata Sons and is

fighting a litigation with the tax department for allegedly

over-paying its past chief executive R Venkatramanan.

The 83-year-old Soonawala, who has served at various

positions in the Tata group including as the vice-chairman of

Tata Sons and as a close confidante of the group patriarch

Ratan Tata, has “expressed his desire to retire from these

trusts due to his health and advanced age,” an official

statement said.

Ratan Tata expressed his “personal thanks to Soonawala

for his colleagueship over the years and wished him good

health in the years ahead”, the statement added.

“The trustees acknowledge the significant contribution

Soonawala has made as a trustee and to the group over the

years and respect his desire to step down from the trusts,”

the statement read.

The retirement comes, it can be noted, on the heels of

Venkatramanan being forced out of the trusts in Janaury

following the income tax notice on his commerical level

salaries and threatenening to end the tax exemptions that the

country’s largest and oldest charity was enjoying as a public

trust. The matter is subjudice now.

Venkatramanan has since been accommodated into the

group outside the country. (PTI)