Job Reservation for Locals in Private Industries?

By Ashwin Tombat
29 July 2019 15:49 IST

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday that the state government cannot make a law forcing industries in the state to employ 80 per cent of locals. It would violate the Constitution, he told Benaulim NCP MLA Churchill Alemao.

Mr Sawant said The Employment of Local Candidates in the Industries/Factories Bill 2019, unanimously passed by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in a day, which reserves 75 per cent of jobs in the state for locals, will not stand legal scrutiny. It is a law that Andhra Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised during his padayatra before the elections.

The AP law requires existing and upcoming private industries to ensure 75 per cent jobs for local candidates within three years. In case no suitable candidates are available, the employers have to train and engage locals within three years in collaboration with government agencies.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath feels that youth from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh snatch jobs in MP. He plans to bring a law to provide 70 per cent reservation for locals in private companies. But his law is different. It makes incentives and benefits conditional on hiring 70 per cent locals.

The Siddaramaiah-led former Congress government in Karnataka announced in September 2014 that for any new industrial unit to avail government sops, Kannadigas would have to comprise 70 per cent of the employees overall and 100 per cent at the Group D level.

In 2010, Odisha reserved 30 per cent of jobs at the managerial level, 60 per cent of skilled jobs and 90 per cent of unskilled and semiskilled jobs for locals. But the policy has not been implemented.

Himachal Pradesh has, for over a decade, set a 70 per cent quota for locals. It allows companies to get skilled personnel and managers from outside the state. The policy has worked well for HP. The state ranked first on the Institute for Human Development Employment Index for 2011-12.

Telangana expects companies to give preferential treatment to locals in low-level jobs. Maharashtra has, since 1968, required industries to employ 80 per cent locals. But Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) raised the issue once again in 2008. The next election is scheduled in end-2019.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) promised a 50 per cent quota for Haryanvis in the private sector in its 2014 election manifesto. But it lost. With polls looming in end-2019, will this demand be resurrected? The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has demanded 100 per cent job reservation for locals.

Why not Goa?

Corporates don’t like job quotas, saying they are counter-productive. Academics and trade unionists say they don’t work. The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, affiliated to the RSS, says the only reservation should be for those whose land has been acquired for a factory.

Mandatory quotas may be anti-constitutional, but as a condition for availing sops from the government, they are perfectly legal. Taxpayers foot the bill for sops extended to the private sector. They have a right over the employment created in these units. The problem is, these quotas have almost never been successful.

Politicians are skilled at making promises, but governments have no mechanism to check if corporates comply with their obligations or not. If they enforce them ruthlessly, then companies look to shift their investments elsewhere — lock, stock and barrel.

The Goa government’s insistence on a 15-year domicile and compulsory knowledge of Konkani for jobs in the government and semi-government sectors has worked well.

The problem is only in jobs requiring very high qualifications; candidates who lack the essential credentials for the job are often selected only because they have domicile. This sacrifices competence at the altar of localism. It needs an urgent relaxation in rules.

But the CM would do well to put domicile and official language conditions for employment in industries taking sops from the state government. For example, in casinos. They offer jobs that Goans can do, but casinos prefer employees from Nepal and the North-Eastern states. The CM is coming out with a brand new casino policy to shift offshore casinos to the land. Why can’t mandatory local employment be an integral part of such a policy?

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

Blogger's Profile

Ashwin Tombat

Ashwin Tombat has been the Editor of Gomantak Times and Herald. Worked as an Associate Editor of national magazine Gentleman in Mumbai, before shifting to Goa. Loves sailing, also participates in Marathons. Has worked as an activist in students's union and trade unions in Maharashtra. Also an artist of Street Theatre during student days.

Drop a comment

Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image

Previous Comments

If Goans has to be Saved in Goa then Goa Government must give 80% Reservation for Goans in PRIVATE SECTORS (Companies, Hotels, Tourism, Beaches, Shops, Complexes, etc. except Casinos). And Goa Government must give 100% Reservation for Goans in GOVERNMENT SECTORS.

- Jack De Goan, Goa | 02 nd August 2019 20:25


Related Blogs