Fulfilling a major election promise, the Haryana government on Saturday enacted a law that mandates up to 75 per cent job reservation for locals in the private sector in the state. However, the quota will apply only for jobs that offer a gross monthly salary of up to Rs 30,000. The draft bill had set the salary ceiling for this reservation at Rs 50,000, drawing bitter criticism from industry bodies.
The deadline for companies to upload employees’ data on the state government portal is January 15, 2022, stated a notification issued by the state government on November 6.
“Local Employment Act is enacted from today itself, 6th November. 15 January 2021 is the last day for industry to upload their employees’ data on Govt portal,” JJP Spokesperson Deepkamal Saharan said on Twitter.
Local Employment Act is enacted from today itself, 6th November. 15 January 2021 is last day for industry to upload their employees’ data on Govt portal. https://t.co/eg6EV2RTNt
— Deepkamal Saharan (@DKSaharan) November 6, 2021
The legislation, Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020, was passed by the state assembly in November last year. The bill was given assent by Governor SN Arya on February 26. It will pave way for local reservation in companies, societies, trusts, and limited liability partnership firms situated in the state.
Reservation in the private sector for locals was the main election promise of Haryana’s Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which had formed a government in the state in alliance with the BJP after finishing third, behind its ally and the Congress, winning 10 of the total 90 seats.
The law also contains a clause that companies can invoke if suitable local candidates cannot be found. In such cases, they may hire from outside so long as they inform the government of such a step.
Pointing to the “large number of migrants competing for low-paid jobs” and the subsequent “impact on local infrastructure and housing… and proliferation of slums”, the Haryana government had said preferences to local candidates will be “socially, economically and environmentally desirable”.
The law also appoints a “designated officer” to act as a representative of the government who will rule on companies invoking the exemption clause citing lack of suitable candidates.
According to the law, this officer may overrule the exemption claim by directing the company concerned to “train local candidates to achieve the desired skill, qualification or proficiency”.
In July last year, Mr Chautala had spoken to NDTV on the ordinance and said it would only be applicable to companies with more than 10 employees. He said: “This will help residents get employment in the state. This kind of law exists in other states and we need to create employment in Haryana”.
The JJP chief had pointed to automobile major Maruti, which has a manufacturing plant in Manesar near Delhi, and said: “Maruti doesn’t even have 20 per cent staff from Haryana”.