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Industry jittery over Congress quota plan

Companies on Thursday gave a thumbs-up to the Congress' economic manifesto unveiled a day earlier, but expressed concerns over a possibility of implementation of job reservation in the private sector.

business Updated: Mar 28, 2014 00:13 IST
HT Correspondent

Companies on Thursday gave a thumbs-up to the Congress' economic manifesto unveiled a day earlier, which underlined the need to get the economy back on the 8% growth path, even though they expressed concerns over a possibility of implementation of job reservation in the private sector.

"The industry is against reservation in private sector since taking merit away from appointments and promotions will impact competitiveness," Kris Gopalakrishnan, president, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and vice-chairman, Infosys, said.

"My concern is that reservation can become counter-productive and it would mean one more layer of regulation... we have to find means where the mental propensity of job creation is not affected," Siddharth Birla, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), told HT.

However, building a consensus on the issue would take time, they added.

Kiram Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and managing director, Biocon, said that the government is trying to abdicate its responsibility of job creation and pass it on to the private sector. "NREGA has created meaningless jobs, what we need are value-added jobs that rely on skill development, if the government mandates affirmative action in the private sector, it will drive away investment and cause further decline in economic growth," she added.

However, Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, CII added that while the industry must participate in any affirmative action, it is not appropriate to look at any quota. "Private sector must be involved in affirmative action but job reservation will lead to inefficiency. "

Meanwhile, Rana Kapoor, president, Assocham said, "The impact of social security, health, pension programme needs to be understood and whether it could have any further adverse impact on fiscal management."

India needs to grow at least at over 7% to absorb 8-9 million people every year into the workforce.A study by Crisil had esrlier pointed out that owing to the sharp slowdown in the economy and the shrinking job market, an additional 12 million people will be redirected to the farm sector during 2013-2019.