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The Andhra Pradesh Employment of Local candidates in Industries/Factories Bill 2019

The Andhra Pradesh Employment of Local candidates in Industries/Factories Bill 2019 passed last month mandates all pre existing companies, all PPP projects and upcoming companies to reserve 75% of jobs for locals. The five page bill asks existing industries to ensure 75 per cent employment to the local candidates within three years from the date of commencement of this Act and incase if the companies/industries do not find suitable candidates, the onus to train locals falls on the employers. Firms that don't comply with the 75 per cent provision could invite a penalty that will be prescribed when the rules are framed. In respect of industries or factories listed in the first schedule of the Factories Act, 1948, industries, factories and PPP projects could seek exemption from the proposed legislation if local candidates were not available, and the government would take appropriate decisions within two weeks.

Andhra Pradesh Political Map

The Act is a double edged sword. It comes with its own pros and cons. During the land pooling for Amravati, the state's new capital, farmers voluntarily offered 90% of the land accounting to 33,000 acres of the total 35,000 acres. The method used was lauded by NITI Aayog as a " model to the nation" with regards to land acquisition. It is obvious that those farmers who gave their fertile land for their state's future would want jobs in return. According to the state government, companies promise jobs for the locals while establishing but most of them are restricted to unskilled jobs such as gardening and house-keeping and hence they came with such an Act to ensure locals are given both skilled and unskilled jobs.

Albeit, 75% percent it is too high but I suppose a 50-50 in skilled jobs would be of greater help. There should be 100% reservation in unskilled jobs as such a man force can be obtained throughout India in any state but there could be 50-50 reservation for skilled jobs. Andhra Pradesh alone has 468 engineering colleges which produces around 2,00,000 engineering graduates every year. These colleges include IIT Tirupati, NIT Tadepalligudem, JNTU's and several other reputed colleges which virtually guarantees the presence of skilled man force.

The main question here is the employability of the graduates. But the situation is similar throughout India and should not make any significant difference in existing scenario. Another question which arises is the definition of a local. Is it someone from the same mandal or district? Or would be based on their place of birth or study?

All in all, this Act comes as a part of populist schemes as promised by the Chief Minister during his Padayatra.



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