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Special Maharashtra govt cell to ensure 80% locals work in industries

Industries are obligated to give this percentage of jobs to locals— domiciled in Maharashtra — as most of them avail various incentives offered by the state government

mumbai Updated: Dec 06, 2017 00:37 IST
Swapnil Rawat
Swapnil Rawat
Hindustan Times
Industries,Mahrashtra,Subhash Desai
Industries minister Subhash Desai, who is also a senior Shiv Sena leader, said there is an existing rule to enforce this and will be applicable to both new and existing industrial units in the state.

The state has decided to look into forming a special cell to ensure 80% locals get employment in industries across Maharashtra. Industries are obligated to give this percentage of jobs to locals— domiciled in Maharashtra — as most of them avail various incentives offered by the state government, say state officials.

In 2008, the previous Congress-NCP government had passed the order, but the committee at the district level, which was set up to oversee implementation, failed to enforce it. “We found out that industries do not employ 80% locals. There is a committee at the district level that looks into it, but it has not been enforced fully. To correct, we have planned to set up a special cell. The cell will comprise employee unions and the industries department,” Subhash Desai, state industries minister told reporters on Tuesday.

Desai, however, was silent when asked if they will force existing factories to sack non-locals to accommodate 80% local workers. “There is an option to link the incentives to this rule. If someone is not performing, as a penalty these incentives can be held back,” Desai said, adding if required they can amend the policy to even have penalties.

Desai, who is also a senior Shiv Sena leader, said there is an existing rule to enforce this and will be applicable to both new and existing industrial units in the state. He said special drives will be carried out by the labour department with the help of the district collector to check how many industries have employed locals. This will be applicable for blue collar jobs.

The formation of a special cell is being viewed as the Sena’s plan to rack up the ‘son of the soil’ agenda after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis lauded the contribution of north Indian and people of other states in Mumbai last week. His statement drew flak from the Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Meanwhile, the state government cleared a separate industrial policy to encourage women entrepreneurs in the state. As per the policy, the state will provide a capital grant between 15% and 35% and bear some portion of the initial cost of setting up the unit.

The policy is expected to add the burden of Rs 648.11 crore a year on the state’s budget.

According to Desai, the idea behind the policy is to boost the number of women entrepreneurs in the state. “Maharashtra is lagging behind in number of women entrepreneurs. While the national average is 13.8%, the state stands at 9%. We want to double this figure to 18% in the next five years,” Desai announced. The policy is expected to boost the manufacturing sector, industries department officials said.

According to the policy, a woman entrepreneur, who finances 100% of a project and hires at least 50% women employees, can avail the capital grant. “There is a clear definition to restrict unscrupulous people from taking advantage of the policy,” said a senior industries department official.

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 00:37 IST