Chandigarh, November 17
The industry in the state celebrated the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision of setting aside the 75 per cent job quota for the locals in the private sector even as the state government, stung by the verdict, is mulling various options.
Industry's stand vindicated
This is a big relief for us. The court decided that this quota is unconstitutional. The industry’s stand has been vindicated. We hope that the Haryana Government will take it in the right spirit. Rajiv Chawla, chairman of industrialists' body
Will Weigh all options
We will weigh the options.... There are other states where similar reservation is either in place or announcements have been made. We will study how our Act was different from theirs and proceed accordingly. Labour Dept official, chairman of industrialists' body
Chairman of the Integrated Association of MSMEs (IamSME) of India Rajiv Chawla, an industrialist from Faridabad, has welcomed the court order. “This is a big relief for us. The court took into account all aspects and decided that this quota is unconstitutional. The industry’s stand has been vindicated. We only hope that the Haryana Government will take it in the right spirit,” he said. The industry was willing to work with the government to upskill the force and make it more employable. However, no quota in jobs should not be imposed on the industry, he added.
Former president of the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) JN Mangla said the industry was jubilant ever since the court verdict was pronounced. “We are not against employing locals, but we want to employ people on merit and not because of reservation. If reservation had been imposed, we would have been forced to move out of Haryana. It is the industry’s collective victory,” he asserted.
Mangla said the GIA was the first petitioner to challenge this quota and would not shy away from do so if the government decided to move the Supreme Court in that regard.
The key poll promise of giving 75 per cent reservation to the locals was first made in the election manifesto of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). After the JJP became a part of the BJP-led government, it was under pressure to fulfil its promise.
In March 2021, the Vidhan Sabha passed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, granting 75 per cent reservation to locals in private jobs that offered a monthly salary of Rs 3,000. That was notified by the Labour Department in November, 2021, even as the entire industry was up in arms against the decision.
A dedicated portal was also been created by the Labour Department along with a helpline number where companies were expected to reflect their vacancies.
Even as the industry rejoices over the decision, sources in the government said a copy of the detailed order of the court was awaited to decide the next course of action.
“We will weigh the options available to us, including amending the existing Act or proceeding to the Supreme Court against the decision. There are other states where similar reservation is either in place or announcements have been made. We will study how our Act was different from theirs and proceed accordingly,” a senior official said, adding that the Labour Department would take a call on it shortly.
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