After Haryana, Jharkhand on Friday (March 12) cleared an employment policy keeping 75 per cent of private sector jobs reserved for locals up to a salary of ₹30,000 per month.
“The CM will announce the new policy next week in the Assembly session, probably on March 17. A few modalities are yet to be decided; they will be announced in the Assembly,” The Indian Express quoted a top source in the Jharkhand Chief Minister’s Office as saying.
Announcing a host of welfare measures on the Republic Day, Chief Minister Hemant Soren had said his government would soon formulate a new domicile policy and reserve 75 per cent jobs in the private sector for the people of the state.
The Economic Survey said the unemployment rate in Jharkhand rose to a peak of 59.2% at the height of the COVID pandemic in May 2020, before falling to 11.3% in January 2021. In January 2020, the unemployment rate stood at 10.6%.
A problem in implementing the proposed local reservations policy could lie in identifying the beneficiaries. Questions around the definition of a Jharkhandi had led to the resignation of Chief Minister Babulal Marandi in 2002, and successive governments thereafter had refrained from touching the issue.
The Haryana government led by BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar has already notified its policy of reserving 75% jobs in the private sector up to a specified salary for local candidates. The decision has drawn flak from industry bodies.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had said: “At a time when it is important to attract investments at state level, the Haryana government could have avoided imposing restrictions on Industry. Reservation affects productivity and industry competitiveness,” Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said in a statement earlier this month (March).
A few local industry associations in Haryana had petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a bid to stop the contentious bill. The court, however, declined the plea on the grounds that bill was yet to become an Act. However, on March 3, the Khattar government had said Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya had given assent to the bill, HT had reported.
Under the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, the private sector will have to employ 75% of the local candidates with respect to such posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than ₹50,000.
CII officials have submitted at least half a dozen representations along with suggestions to CM Khattar and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala to reconsider the decision.