The Haryana government on Thursday passed a bill providing 75 per cent reservation for local candidates applying to private sector jobs in the state that pay less than Rs 50,000 per month.
The bill, tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala (also the state's Labour Minister), also contains a clause companies can invoke if suitable local candidates cannot be found. In such cases they may hire from outside so long as they inform the government of such a step.
However, since this contravenes Article 14 and 19 of the Constitution (equality before the law and the right to practice any profession anywhere in India), the bill - the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill - needs the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind before it becomes law.
Pointing to the "large number of migrants competing for low-paid jobs" and the subsequent "impact on local infrastructure and housing... and proliferation of slums", the Haryana government said preferences to local candidates will be "socially, economically and enviromentally desirable".
The bill also appoints a "designated officer" to act as a representative of the government who will rule on companies invoking the exempetion clause citing lack of suitable candidates.
According to the bill this officer may overrule the exemption claim by directing the company concerned to "train local candidates to achieve the desired skill, qualification or proficiency".
Under the provisions of this bill companies must register details of all employees getting gross monthly wages of less than Rs 50,000 per month. This must be done within three months of the bill becoming law or a fine of between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh may be levied.
And, once the bill becomes law, 75 per cent of these jobs must be filled by local candidates. Companies may, however, restrict the employment from any one district to 10 per cent. Contravention of this provision will invite fines between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh.
The 75 per cent reservation had been promised by Mr Chautala while campaigning for Assembly elections in October last year. Mr Chautala and his JJP finished third - behind the BJP and Congress - but stitched together a last-gasp alliance with the former to form the government.
In July Mr Chautala spoke to NDTV on the ordinance and said it would only be applicable to companies with more than 10 employees. He said: "This will help residents get employment in the state. This kind of law exists in other states and we need to create employment in Haryana".
The JJP chief pointed to automobile major Maruti, which has a manufacturing plant in Manesar near Delhi, and said: "Maruti doesn't even have 20 per cent staff from Haryana".
"We want to create employment in the state so that GST is also generated in the state," he added.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that domicile certificates would be mandatory for a candidate to claim these benefits under this scheme.