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Some industries take State’s move on quota for locals with a pinch of salt, others unhappy

The Karnataka Cabinet's decision to make industries treat locals on priority has not rattled many, as it is more advisory in nature. But some are unhappy, calling it a 'populist' measure.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 05, 2019, 10.50 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Last week’s decision of the Karnataka Cabinet requiring industries to treat locals on priority while recruiting for low-rung jobs has not rattled industries so much because it is more “advisory” in nature than a mandate.

A senior official told ET that it is a rule, and industries have to obey it. But the rule gives some amount of freedom. They need to prove that they made a genuine attempt to provide jobs for Kannadigas.

Sections of industrialists, however, are against the very philosophy of reservation. A government official, not willing to be identified, said the very fact that the government is thinking on the lines of providing reservation shows the economy has tanked, and is not adding new jobs.

The Cabinet last week decided to amend the Karnataka Industrial Employment Rules, 1961, to provide for some relief to Kannadigas/locals in employment in the private sector.

Quess Corp chairman Ajit Isaac said they often face implementation issues. “We don’t find enough locals who are willing to take up jobs like janitorial and security services. It is people from the Northeast and eastern part of India who take up these jobs. The reason behind this is locals prefer other options that pay them more,” he said.

He even called it a mere “populist measure” by the government to woo a section of society.

“It is not going to increase the employment ability among locals. What is expected of the government is to renew minimum wages so that people get higher takehome salary,” Isaac said.

Electronic City Industries Association (Elcia) CEO NS Rama said while recruiting locals has advantages, it is sometimes difficult to find fit candidates for certain jobs.

“For instance, many industries are looking for people to do assembly jobs, but locals do not show interest. They prefer jobs like delivery executives for startups over assembly work.”

Some of the industry representatives like Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice-chairman Shekar Viswanathan said that recruiting locals has many advantages.

“At Toyota, we have implemented recommendations of the Sarojini Mahishi report since the beginning. We recruit only Kannadigas in certain sections of our work and we are quite happy with our recruitment record.”

He said that the reason behind preferring local talent is the professionalism shown at work.

“They are extremely good in managerial talent, supervisory talent and workman talent,” he said.

Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce president Devesh Agarwal said while reservation for Kannadigas is an important issue, it is a challenge to implement it in a global city like Bengaluru.

“In the 21st century knowledge economy, merit, ability and a desire to work towards success should be the main determinants for employment. Reservation in Group C and D jobs regresses the years that Karnataka has meticulously done to achieve the status of being the most investment-friendly state in the country.”
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