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Local Reservation in Jobs

  • 03 May 2023
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Local Reservation in Jobs, Article 14,16,19, Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2022, Freedom of Movement.

For Mains: Local Reservation in Jobs and Implications.

Why in News?

Due to Local Reservation Law in Jobs, the state has received fewer new investment projects compared to previous years, causing the state's share of new investment projects in the country to drop to 1.06% in 2022-23 from 3 % previous year, lowest in six years.

What is Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020?

  • About:
    • It requires firms with 10 or more employees to reserve 75% of all jobs offering a salary of less than Rs. 30,000 a month for eligible candidates of State domicile.
    • It will be mandatory for all these employers to register all their employees drawing gross monthly salary or wages not more than Rs 30,000 on the designated portal available on the official website of the Labour Department, Haryana.
  • Similar Attempts in other States:
    • Job reservation Bills or laws for domiciles have also been announced in other States including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
    • The job quota Bill passed in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 2019, also reserving three-fourths of private jobs for locals.

What are the Pros and Cons of Local Reservation in Jobs?

  • Pros:
    • Constitutionally Valid: Article 16 of the constitution of India doesn't prohibit reservation based on the domicile and the residence. It seems constitutionally valid to provide first opportunities to the locals in local jobs because these people wear all the negative externalities generated by job creating establishments.
    • Equality: Reservation in local jobs provides equality among the weakest section of the society, because reservation is only confined to low strata jobs, and it is as per the spirit of the Equal Protection of Law as per Article 14 of the constitution of India.
    • Suitable Solution for Unemployment: Reservation in local jobs seems a suitable solution amid unemployment and stagnant job creation.
      • In the constitution of India, there are special provisions for jobs and education for states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under the article 371 D and E, due to their special circumstances. So, the reservation in local jobs amid the unemployment situation seems justified and as per the special provisions of the constitution of India.
    • Boost Local Economy: When companies hire local people, they tend to spend their earnings in the local economy, which can help to create jobs and generate economic growth.
      • Hiring local people means companies do not have to bear the relocation costs of employees. This can help to reduce their operational costs, which can be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.
    • Improve Productivity: Local employees are more likely to be familiar with the local language, culture, and business environment, which can help to improve their productivity and efficiency.
  • Cons:
    • Can Trigger Exodus of Investors: It could trigger an exodus of large domestic and multinational investors across sectors such as auto, IT that rely on highly skilled manpower.
      • In the case of Haryana, investment fell 30% in 2022 to Rs 39,000-odd crore from nearly Rs 56,000 crore in 2021-22, pushing it from the ninth-best State in terms of new investment projects to the 13th rank in 2022-23 because of local reservation law.
    • Affect Existing Industries: Raising the son of the soil issue and preventing free movement of manpower resources in the State from other regions can have an adverse effect on the existing industries in the State.
      • This may force those tech giants and other industries to shift their base from Haryana to other States and drain out the State’s monetary resources to that extent.
    • Can Cause Extreme Talent Crunch: Imposing the reservations on gig and platform companies could create a crippling talent crunch.
    • Against the Constitution: The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of movement and consequently employment within India through several provisions.
      • Article 14 provides for equality before law irrespective of place of birth.
      • Article 15 guards against discrimination based on place of birth.
      • Article 16 guarantees no birthplace-based discrimination in public employment.
      • Article 19 ensures that citizens can move freely throughout the territory of India.

Way Forward

  • The reservation policy could be implemented in a way that does not hamper the free movement of manpower resources in the Country.
  • The reservation policy could be revisited periodically to assess its impact on the economy and industries in the state.
  • It is important to ensure that any policy decision taken is in compliance with the Constitution of India and does not violate the fundamental rights of citizens.
  • The best way to grow out of Job for Locals Legislations (JRFL) attempts of various state governments is to ensure economic recovery and provide enough job opportunities for youths with skill training and proper education as key focus areas, enabling the masses to compete in the free market.

Source: TH

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