Haryana Assembly: Private sector quota Bill passed

Bill mandates 75% reservation in private sector jobs to local candidates; JJP, Congress object
(HT Photo)
(HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 06, 2020 12:44 AM IST
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Hindustan Times/Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

The Haryana Assembly on Thursday passed a Bill to provide 75% reservation in private sector jobs to local people amid objections by Congress and JJP MLAs.

The Bill that was moved by deputy chief minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala was vehemently opposed by his own party’s MLA from Narnaund Ram Kumar Gautam who termed the proposed law as ‘divisive, 100% wrong and inane’.

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020, aims to provide 75% of new employment opportunities to local candidates for jobs with a salary below 50,000 per month in private companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, and partnership firms, situated in Haryana.

However, employers will also have the option of only recruiting 10% employees from a single district. The proposed law also contains an exemption clause in case suitable local candidates are not available for a particular category of industry.

Criticising the Bill, JJP MLA Gautam, who has an acrimonious relationship with Dushyant, said: “ This is a free country and we are one. We do not want divisions. People from Haryana have the freedom to work anywhere in the country as do the people from Bihar, Maharashtra or any other state. Biharis contribute a lot as far as farming is concerned. How can we stop them from gaining employment in Haryana? This is a behuda (inane) Bill,” Gautam said.

Congress MLA from Rohtak, BB Batra wondered how a chief minister of the BJP could allow such a Bill to be tabled in the Assembly.

“The BJP talks of one nation and here is a Bill that is patently discriminatory and divisive. A similar law enacted by Andhra Pradesh has also been challenged in the high court and will be struck down. This Bill is also unconstitutional and will be struck down by the courts,’’ Batra said.

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda supported the private sector job quota but with a rider. “ The discretion given to the employer to pick a maximum 10% local candidates from a district should be done away with,’’ Hooda said.

Congress MLA from Faridabad NIT Neeraj Sharma said the 10% recruitment restriction from one district was unfair. “People of Faridabad have given their agricultural land to set up industries. They also bore the harmful effects of industrialisation. So why should there be a 10% cap on employing them,’’ Sharma said.

Batra, Sharma and another Congress MLA Dr Raghuvir Singh Kadian also pointed out that the Bill should have been handed over to MLAs five days before being tabled to help them study the provisions.

Presidential assent will be required

A replica ordinance approved by the cabinet in August was reserved by the governor for consideration of the President.

Officials said the Bill passed by the Assembly on Thursday will also be reserved by the governor for the consideration of the President despite the fact that the government has modified Section 23 of the Bill, a provision which gives it an overriding effect over other laws.

Section 23 of the ordinance provided the proposed law an overriding effect over any other laws, a broad provision having the potential to be repugnant to an Act of the Parliament.

However, the same section in the Bill now provides overriding effect on any other state law.

Constitutional issues raise question mark on Bill’s fate

However, issues raised by the law and legislative secretary during the vetting of the proposed law still hold good, officials said. The clause providing for preference in jobs to the local candidates domiciled in Haryana was also seemingly in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution pertaining to equality before the law and Article 19 (1)(g) which provides for protection of certain rights to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

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