Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: Health Minister E. Valsaraj on Tuesday told the Assembly that the government would take steps to prevail upon private companies to give preference to the locals in providing employment.

Replying to a query from N. Kalainathan (CPI), he said that though there were no specific guidelines to be followed by the State governments with regard to employment for the locals in private enterprises, the government would try to get an assurance from the companies at the time of issuing licence.

Local residents were overlooked when it came to providing employment in private units, Mr. Kalainathan said, adding that even bonded labour was widely prevalent in the Union Territory. P.R. Siva (MDMK) too supported his stand on the issue.

At this stage, Speaker R. Radhakrishnan said it was not true that locals were denied jobs in private concerns.

Mr. Valsaraj said that States such as Punjab and Chhattisgarh had introduced legislation to guarantee 60 per cent reservation to the locals in private firms.

The government would study the legislation and, if necessary, introduce an Act to provide employment for the locals in private concerns, he said.