The new law will provide quota to locals in private sector jobs that offer a salary of less than <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>50,000 a month, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (HT photo)
The new law will provide quota to locals in private sector jobs that offer a salary of less than 50,000 a month, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (HT photo)

Haryana to reserve 75% jobs in private sector for locals

Governor Satydeo Narain Arya gives assent to bill, a key poll promise made by the BJP’s alliance partner JJP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:37 AM IST

After sitting on it for close to four months, Haryana governor Satydeo Narain Arya on Tuesday gave assent to the bill providing 75% reservation in private sector to state job seekers who have a domicile certificate. The quota will apply for 10 years.

The assembly had late last year passed the bill, a key poll promise made by the ruling alliance partner Jannayak Janta Party.

“The governor today gave his assent to the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020, providing quota for local people in private sector jobs that offer a salary of less than 50,000 a month,” chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters here.

A near-similar ordinance approved by the cabinet in July last was reserved by the governor for the consideration of the President. Though the ordinance was withdrawn by the cabinet in October last, the Union labour and employment ministry which examined the ordinance had advised the state government against enacting such a law. The state government though did no heed to the advice.

Legal experts said the new law was in contravention of the Constitution and will not withstand judicial scrutiny.

While tabling the bill in the assembly, the government modified its section 23, a provision which gave it an overriding effect over any other law, a broad provision having the potential to be repugnant to an Act of the Parliament. Section 23 in the bill was modified to provide overriding effect on any other state law.

However, issues raised by the law and legislative secretary during the vetting of the proposed law still holds good, experts said. The clause providing for preference in jobs to the local candidates domiciled in Haryana, experts said, was 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.

The private sector job quota move was piloted by deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala’s JJP. The controversial piece of legislation did not find much support from the BJP quarters initially. In fact, CM Khattar had once sounded non-committal on the prospect of enacting such a law.

Sources said since the BJP government at the Centre has a very different view on the matter, it was surprising how the governor assented to the bill.

As per the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, giving preference to local candidates in low-paid jobs is socially, economically and environmentally desirable and any such preference would be in the interests of the general public.

“The bill will provide tremendous benefits to the private employers directly or indirectly through qualified and trained local work force. Availability of suitable workforce locally would enhance the efficiency of Industry as the workforce is one of the major components for the development of any industrial organisation,’’ it said.

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