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Industry against law on job quota
Seeks sops for extending help to SCs/STs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
Industry leaders today told the government not to force quotas on them and assured voluntary steps to provide jobs and skill-enhancement training to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The chiefs of Indian industry chambers also urged the government to extend incentives to help SC/ST candidates get private sector jobs.

The representatives of the three industry chambers — CII, Ficci and Assocham — Sunil Bharti Mittal, K.K. Modi and V.N. Dhoot, were unanimous in conveying their opposition to the quota law at the meeting convened by Prime Minister’s principal secretary T.K.A. Nair.

The meeting was called to review the progress on affirmative action, a year after the industry submitted its plan for enhancing jobs for SC/ST candidates in private sector.

Ficci, which had differences with CII and Assocham on having a code of conduct on affirmative action, today agreed to soon evolve a similar plan of action for its constituents.

The three chambers agreed that they would include reporting of data on the new employment for SC/ST persons created during the year in the code of conduct being prescribed for their members. They also agreed that an ombudsman with regional benches would be set up by them to monitor the compliance of the voluntary code of conduct by its members.

Noting that there is a need to enhance SCs/STs employability, all chambers agreed to intensify their efforts in developing the skill sets of SC/ST persons.

While pointing that stipends were available under the existing government schemes to enable SC/ST candidates to pursue courses in various ITIs, the chambers agreed to top up the financial incentives as needed, so as to ensure that the available seats for them did not remain vacant.

In addition, they agreed that skill development efforts through other mechanisms and institutions were also needed, particularly in those districts where there was heavy concentration of SC/ST population.

The chamber representatives asked the government to provide fiscal incentives to the industry in 40-45 districts dominated by the SCs/STs. Sources said the government would soon identify SCs/STs-dominated districts for extending such incentives.

Assocham president V.N. Dhoot said the industry had already begun work on improving the employability of the SCs/STs. “We have created a corpus of Rs 5 crore for skill upgradation of SCs/STs,” he said.

CII informed that 345 SC/ST persons, which were selected after an intensive selection process, were currently undergoing training to become entrepreneurs at 7 centres in different parts of the country with the assistance of Entrepreneurial Development Institute, Ahmedabad, and during the current financial year it expected to train 500 such persons.

Ficci announced the setting up of four such entrepreneurial development centres, in each of which it would annually train 600 SC/ST persons. Assocham indicated that 300 of nearly 1,000 candidates trained by it already had set up their new ventures, an official statement said.

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