Companies find flaw in Haryana’s job quota law

Businesses and Opposition parties fear that the new Haryana law reserving 75% private
sector jobs for people belonging to the state may erode competitiveness and disrupt
the post-pandemic recovery, reports Rajesh Moudgil

Even though the Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya has recently given his nod to the Bill giving 75 percent reservation in the private sector to job seekers from the state, a bumpy road awaits the implementation of the Act.

The Act had already been challenged by an industrial house though the Punjab and Haryana high court dismissed the plea as it observed that since the state government was yet to enforce the law, the petitioner industry was not adversely affected by the law at this stage.

Stating that a detailed court order was awaited on the plea filed by a Rohtak-based firm A K Automatics, the counsel for the firm, Vishal Sharma said that the plea was withdrawn with a liberty to file it afresh. The high court judges observed that the government was yet to enforce the Act, so the petitioner industry was not adversely affected by the law at this stage, he said. That means that the Act is not applicable to the private sector in Haryana to this day, he added.

However, while the law provides for 75 percent quota in all private-sector jobs with monthly salary less than 50,000 for those born in Haryana or living here for five years, a major section of industrial houses has looked askance at the bill arguing that it was an attempt to introduce a domicile methodology for securing a job in the private sector rather than on the basis of a candidate’s education, professional skills, and intellect, which would create chaos in the current industrial employment structure.

Also, aside from the concern of the industries, even the JJP MLA Ram
Kumar Gautam has raised objections against the Bill in the assembly calling it ridiculous legislation which was totally wrong. He held that if Haryana went ahead with this kind of a reservation, other states would also follow the same and that would result in a “total chaos’’.

The Congress MLA B B Batra said that the Bill was in violation of Article 16 of the Constitution of India. However, the Haryana government claims otherwise as, according to it, Article 16 talks about public employment, while the Bill pertains to private sector employment.

Govt gaga over the Bill

The said Bill was passed by Haryana assembly in November, 2020, and the ruling BJP-Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) combine government had termed it as a Diwali gift for youth.

After the bill was passed, deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala tweeted that his JJP’s promise to the lakhs of the youth of Haryana had been fulfilled and now Haryanvi youth would get 75 percent reservation in jobs in the private sector.

He said that the BJP-JJP government was committed to giving jobs to local youth and this was a step in that direction. He said that the bill to give 75 percent jobs to youth in private sector also had provisions for strict implementation. There was a provision for penalty for any company or factory, institute, or trust that hid the information regarding its employees.

Dushyant held that any employee in the private sector would not be laid off but all information regarding employees with a salary less than 50,000 would be required to be uploaded on the government website. He said that any firm or employer that failed to register its employees or provided incomplete or incorrect information, gave fraudulent certification, or did not follow rules laid under the Act would be liable to be fined under various sections in the Bill.

Also, after the governor gave his assent to the bill, the JJP state president Nishan Singh said the JJP had promised during assembly elections, 2019, to give 75 percent jobs in the private sector to the youth of the state and that the party leader Dushyant Chautala had been regularly trying to get this bill passed.

Cong lambasts govt

The president of state Congress Kumari Selja was quick to lambast the government. Congress is the principal opposition party in the state assembly. She said that in order to hide its failures, the BJP-JJP government of Haryana was only pretending to give 75 percent reservation to the local youth in new jobs in the private sector. “Neither the youth of the state is happy with this decision, nor are the people running industries in the state. This government has once again betrayed people of the state’’, she told newspersons.

Kumari Selja said that to divert attention from its failures and giving new “jumlas’’ has become the mark of this government. The finance minister at the center, Nirmala Sitharaman herself, described this decision as incomprehensible, she added.

The entire bill has given a way that if the company does not get the special skills in the youth of Haryana for employment, they can hire the outsider. This way, any industry can deny reservation to the local youth by making excuses. Why reservation will not be given 75 per cent to the youth of the state in jobs with salary above 50,000 per month in the private sector, she asked?

The government has so far organised conferences by spending crores of rupees for investment, yet why unemployment is increasing in the state. What happened to those investments? she further asked.

Kumari Selja held that the ground reality today was that there were no jobs in the private sector. The industries in the state are suffering. Unemployment in Haryana has been the highest in the entire country for the last several months. After October, November, December and January, Haryana’s unemployment rate is highest in the entire country even in the month of February with 26.4 per cent, she held.

Far from the matter of giving new jobs, the jobs of those working for years are also being snatched and this is happening due to the wrong and failed policies of this government, she said and added that at the same time, government recruitment are being halted and cancelled by this government under a conspiracy.

“The youth of Haryana wants employment, not such jokes and deception. The government should give relief to industries by giving up the pretence and take concrete steps for employment generation and providing skills to the youth of the state.

The figures are a witness to the fact that the BJP-JJP government only believes in hollow slogans. Atrocities against women in Haryana are increasing. The government has proved to be a complete failure in the prevention of crimes. The government, instead of strengthening the law and order of the state, has remained a mute spectator, she added.