On Tuesday March 2, the governor of Haryana, Satydeo Narain Arya, gave his approval to the bill providing for 75% reservation in the private sector for job seekers holding a certificate of domicile.
The quota for the local population will apply for 10 years to private sector jobs that pay less than Rs 50,000 per month.
The law states that the quota applies to all corporations, corporations, trusts, limited liability partnership companies, partnership company and anyone employing ten or more people and an entity that can be notified by the government of Haryana.
It would appear that domicile status applies to those who were born in the state or have lived there for at least 15 years.
“The governor today gave his assent to the Haryana State Local Candidate Employment Bill 2020, providing for a quota for the local population in private sector jobs paying less than 50,000 rupees per month, ”Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said. through HT.
The demand for the above law was championed by the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) of Deputy Minister Dushyant Chautala, a partner of the ruling alliance. Reservation of jobs for locals was a key promise made by JJP in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Difficult legal terrain
The Locals Reservations Act must have chartered difficult terrain, and experts say there could be more legal hurdles ahead.
An ordinance to this effect was approved by the Haryana Cabinet in July 2020, was reserved by the Governor for consideration by the President and ultimately abandoned by the Government in October 2020.
The union’s Ministry of Labor and Employment that reviewed the ordinance advised the state government against adopting such a law.
Apparently, the law initially did not find many takers in the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party in the state and the center. In fact, CM Khattar had in the past seemed elusive about the prospect of enacting such a law.
HT citing sources saying that the BJP government at the Center had a very different view on the matter and it was surprising how the governor sanctioned the bill.
Legal experts say the bill may face constitutional hurdles.
The clause providing for preference in employment to local candidates domiciled in Haryana may be considered to contravene Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees equality before the law and Article 19 (1) (g) which provides for the protection of certain rights to exercise any profession. , or to carry on an occupation, a trade or a company.
The Supreme Court capped the reserve at 50 percent, and that too in the public sector. He also confirmed the Allahabad High Court’s overturn of the Uttar Pradesh government’s reservation policy when it failed to provide sufficient data.
Section 23 of the act, which gave it overriding effect over other laws – a broad provision that could potentially be contrary to an Act of Parliament – was amended by the government to apply only to other state laws.
Will it work?
In the outline of the objects and reasons for the bill, the government declares that favoring local candidates in low-paying jobs serves the public interest and is socially, economically and environmentally desirable.
“The bill will provide enormous benefits to private employers, either directly or indirectly, through a skilled and trained local workforce. The availability of a locally appropriate workforce would improve the efficiency of the industry, as the workforce is one of the main elements in the development of any industrial organization, ” he said. .
The Haryana government also argues that the law will discourage migrants who have “a significant impact” on local infrastructure and lead to a “proliferation of slums”.
It is possible that the loss of jobs due to the pandemic and the resulting high unemployment rate was what prompted the ruling party to finally pass the bill.
Unemployment data released by the CMIE in September 2020 showed that Haryana had the highest unemployment rate in the country at 33.5%.
In April 2019, Haryana had an unemployment rate of 26.5% – the fifth in the country – after Pondicherry (75.8%), Tamil Nadu (49.8%), Jharkhand (47.1%) and Bihar (46.6%).
However, experts question the benefits of booking. They argue that the law can erode competitiveness and hurt post-pandemic recovery. The high costs of training the workforce may even force companies to relocate.
Experts say the challenge of unemployment cannot be met by a diktat of reserve.
On the one hand, it is important to differentiate between the problem of “jobs” and the problem of “wages”. Migrants often have jobs that locals, given their socio-economic status, are not prepared to accept.
The top jobs are often found among the less educated at the bottom of the ladder, the people these quotas claim to target.
In addition, the perception that foreigners are stealing local jobs may not be based on facts. For example, data shows that in Gujarat, residents hold 92 percent of all private sector jobs, even more than the 85 percent quota promised by the state government.
The law will also be difficult to enforce and place a high regulatory burden on businesses because their current systems do not track the origin of employees. While the law provides that companies can hire non-locals in case suitable local candidates are not found, they still have to go through a long process.
It all comes down to having talent with the right skills at competitive prices. Labor mobility maintains the competitiveness of the labor market and increases the efficiency of production.
“This move goes against the basic principle of meritocracy which serves as the foundation for businesses to grow and remain competitive,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of TeamLease Services, a recruiting company.
Many other state governments, however, have given thought to reserving space in private sector jobs. The list includes Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, etc.
The trend towards economic populism will do little to meet the challenge of providing good education, skills and decent employment amid the explosion of Indian youth.