Haryana cabinet okays drafting of ordinance to provide 75% quota in private jobs
The draft of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Ordinance, 2020, will be put before the next meeting of the council of ministers, an official statement said.Updated: Jul 11, 2020 06:52 IST
The Haryana cabinet on Monday approved drafting of an ordinance to provide 75% reservation in private sector jobs for eligible candidates of state domicile, leading to concerns among private firms that said the move could gravely hamper post-Covid economic recovery.
The draft of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Ordinance, 2020, will be put before the next meeting of the council of ministers, an official statement said.
According to the statement, the ordinance will provide “75% of the new employment to local candidates for jobs having salary of less than Rs 50,000 per month in various privately managed companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms, etc., situated in the state of Haryana”.
However, employers will have the option to recruit local candidates from one district to the extent of only 10%. The proposed law will also contain an exemption clause if suitable local candidates are not available for a particular category of industry.
This was the second time in the last five months that the cabinet discussed the issue of reservation in private jobs, which was one of the key poll promises of the Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the coalition partner of the BJP.
Manas Fuloria, founder of a city-based IT-firm and spokesperson for NASSCOM, Haryana, said, “At present, there is not much clarity on the specific terms of the ordinance. We are ourselves trying to ascertain whether it applies only to unskilled labour, or skilled jobs as well. If the ordinance is passed as a blanket reservation, many private companies may choose to relocate their employees to other cities, at least on paper. It will be possible for a lot of companies to work remotely in the current scenario. But I think industries like manufacturing and real estate will be hit hard by these constraints.”
Last year, the Andhra Pradesh assembly had passed a bill to provide 75% reservation to locals in private jobs, becoming the first state to take such a step. The bill has been challenged on the grounds of constitutional validity in the Andhra Pradesh high court.
Officials said the proposal was approved after being vetted by the Haryana law secretary, who had earlier raised questions over the constitutional validity of such a legislation. They said the cabinet had sent the proposal to the law secretary on January 31. The senior law officer had then raised objections on the grounds of violation of Article 14 [equality before law] and Article 19 (1)(g) [protection of certain rights to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business] of the Constitution.
Senior government officials said once the cabinet approves the draft of the ordinance, the assembly will have to pass it and send it to the governor. Once the governor clears it, the law will have to be sent for Presidential assent since labour-related matters are in the concurrent list of the Constitution, they said.
Speaking after the cabinet meeting, deputy CM Dushyant Chautala said, “Today is a historical day as now this would be mandatory for the industries or companies in private sector to give 75% jobs to Haryana youths.” He said the BJP-JJP government is committed to provide employment to the people of Haryana.
Under the Haryana State Employment to Local Candidates Act 2020, all private industries, units, firms and employment providers which would have more than 10 employees in its premises would be covered in this Act. These rules would apply to recruitment after the date of notification of this ordinance, Chautala said.
The deputy CM said a domicile certificate would be mandatory for the candidate to avail of benefits under this scheme, which would be implemented by the labour department.
He said all those companies covered under this Act would have to register the entire data of employees on the portal.
Private companies would have to inform the labour department if they are unable to find the employees according to their requirement, after which they would be permitted to give jobs to the people belonging to other states.
Private employers in Gurugram expressed their dismay at the Haryana government’s plan. The move can fundamentally change the economic landscape of the city, which employs people from across Haryana, Delhi-NCR, India and even the world, stakeholders said.
A senior employee of a prominent real estate firm in Gurugram, seeking anonymity, said, “We have been relying on skilled workmen from states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for years. To train locals from scratch is an investment that we cannot make as we are in a period of economic downturn. This ordinance will make Haryana a less attractive location for private firms to do business. Once the draft ordinance is made public, we can put up our objections to it.”
Employers in the manufacturing sector also appeared worried at the prospect of such an ordinance being promulgated into a law.
Pankaj Yadav, president of the Gurugram Udyog Association, said, “At this point in time, jobs are already scarce. Industries should be allowed to hire at their discretion for the next few years at least. This is not the time to be putting such constraints on us in an already reeling economy. We have no issues with hiring locals, but finding people with the right skills and qualifications will become much harder, and possibly more expensive as well.”