Days after the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed a Bill to reserve 75% jobs for locals in industries and factories, the Maharashtra government announced on Thursday that it would pass a law to ensure 80% reservation for locals.
The government is also planning to stop Goods and Services Tax (GST)-related benefits and incentives extended to the companies, if they failed to submit proof that 80% of its employees are ‘sons of the soil’ as required by rules.
Industries Minister and senior Shiv Sena leader, Subhash Desai on Thursday claimed that the policy to give preference to locals in 80% jobs in industries and factories existed in the State since 1968. “After the announcement of Andhra Pradesh, questions have been raised about Maharashtra. But in reality, the policy to reserve 80% jobs for locals was declared on November 18, 1968 following an agitation led by Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray,” said Mr Desai, adding that Maharashtra was the first to do so.
He claimed that with successive improvements in the policy, the State has given 84% jobs to locals till now. “We will be bringing a special law to ensure that the said policy is more effectively applied. We have decided to strengthen the policy to ensure locals are not sidelined or facing discrimination,” he said.
Among the steps being planned by the State government include blocking the input credit given on GST. “In 2018-19, the total amount of GST related incentive was ₹3,035 crore. Companies which will not follow the rule of giving 80% jobs to locals will have to lose out on these benefits,”said the minister.
Mr. Desai said a district-level committee is already in place to monitor the policy to give preference to locals and at the State-level the committee is working under the Industries commissioner. “The industries will now have to fill the information online regarding the employees they have recruited. Details of contract workers will also have to be recorded online and, here too, locals will have to be given preference,” he said.
Mr. Desai said that Maharashtra at present has 3,052 mega and big projects from which total employment generated is 9.69 lakh. “Of this, supervising grade and other grades have 84% and 90% locals,” he said. Additionally, a total of 10.26 medium, small and micro businesses have generated employment for around 60 lakh people where similar percentage of locals were employed.