INDIA: On Thursday, the Supreme Court overturned the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision to stay the Haryana government’s law requiring 75 percent reservation in private sector jobs for local candidates.
The court ordered the high court to rule on the matter within a month and directed the state government not to take any coercive measures against the employers for the time being.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had halted Haryana’s 75 percent quota on February 3.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced in November last year that the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, would take effect on January 15, this year.
Though the government had promised that the Act would apply to all jobs paying a gross monthly salary of up to Rs 50,000, it issued another notification last year stating that the upper limit had been reduced to Rs 30,000.
Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya signed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 in March 2021.
Dushyant Chautala’s Jannyak Janta Party (JJP), which is in an alliance with the BJP in Haryana, made a key election promise of providing 75 percent reservation in private sector jobs.
Chautala had stated that the state government’s decision to provide 75 percent of jobs in private companies to local youth would greatly benefit the state’s youth.
“We promised to ensure 75 percent employment opportunities for local candidates in the private sector, which we have done, and it will be a revolutionary step,” he said.
India Inc. had called for a re-examination of the legislation, claiming that it would cause multinational corporations to leave the country.
Industry groups contended that reservation reduces competitiveness and proposed that the state government provide a 25% subsidy to the industry as an incentive for each local hired.
“At a time when it is critical to attracting investments at the state level, governments should not impose restrictions on industry,” said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“Reservations have an impact on productivity and industry competitiveness.”
“We hope the government reconsiders the legislation or, at the very least, ensures that the rules are fair. There should be no imposition or restriction as a single country,” it added.
Another organization, the Ph.D. Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), believes that any Indian should be free to work in any state in India.
“The 75 percent reservation will result in a shift away from tech companies, automotive companies, and especially MNCs (multinational corporations) that rely on highly skilled labor.”
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