Vince Cable is understood to be reconsidering a hard-hitting proposal that would see chief executives face an annual binding vote on their pay and bonuses.
The business secretary is now planning on a vote every three years, according to a report in The Independent.
The initial yearly vote had been proposed by Cable in a paper on tackling corporate greed.
Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna was quoted in the paper as saying: "It is greatly disappointing that the government is backing down on its proposal for annual binding votes on executive pay."
The supposed development follows a "shareholder spring" in which investors revolted against the pay of chief executives at a number of top companies, including Barclays and Aviva.
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills told The Independent a three-year remuneration policy was being considered.
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