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Industry in a tizzy over Haryana move to reserve jobs for locals

S Ronendra Singh/ Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 03, 2021

The Haryana-Manesar industrial belt is home to a number of auto, IT and BPO companies   -  PRAKASH SINGH

Fears talent acquisition issue; can affect future investments

The Haryana government mandating private units based in the State to reserve 75 per cent of jobs that pay less that ₹50,000 a month to locals is seen affectinginvestments and raising talent issues. Also, such a move, it is feared, can lead other States also to come with similar policies, defeating the Prime Minister’s ambitious plans like ‘One Nation One Ration Card’.

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020, which has been in the works for over a year, seeks to provide reservation for local people in the private sector. Itgotthe Governor’s assent on Tuesday.

According to industry watchers, such a regulation can impact the State’s key Haryana-Manesar industrial belt that is home to a number of IT, BPO companies and many auto firms. Automobile and information technology (IT) sectors, they say, hire on the basis of merit and talent rather than the domicile of the candidate. Also, the reason units employ candidates from outside the State is the shortage of adequately skilled local manpower.

“At one level, we are looking at work from anywhere... not only work from home but work from anywhere, and we have the Central government which is supporting that with various reforms. I don't think these two sit together well. The entire idea of a company mandatorily employing people from the State, from industry point of view, will negate the image of Haryana,” Ashish Aggarwal, Senior Director and Head - Public Policy, Nasscom, told BusinessLine.

Companies like to hire people as close to their places of business, but by mandating it, the State is undermining its advantage. "From the tech industry perspective, the requirement of talent is something which can not be met from any particular State. We need to look at India as one talent market and let the industry compete at a global level,” Aggarwal added.

Similar was the auto industry reaction.

“The Indian auto and auto component industry is a global one... our production not only caters to domestic demand, but also to international markets. The Indian component industry today exports more that 25 per cent of its production, with the US and Europe being our leading markets. Our industry requires a skilled workforce to produce high quality products that are globally competitive,” Deepak Jain, President, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), said.

“Such a move would not only adversely impact the ‘ease of doing business’ in the State, but also be detrimental to Haryana’s image of an industry friendly destination,” Jain added.

Sunjay Kapur, Chairman, CII Haryana State Council & Chairman, Sona Comstar, said the industry is seeking more clarity on how this regulation will be implemented. “It doesn’t enable fair competition because the industry wants to hire the best talent. We have made representations to State governments on how the industry can collaborate with them to support their initiative to generate jobs as well as invest in training, education and upskilling of talent,” he said.

Subodh Jindal, President, All India Food Processors’ Association said: “The food processing sector employs a large number of seasonal and contractual workforce with specific skillsets and it would not be practically feasible for the sector to implement these regulations.”

Published on March 03, 2021

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