The YSRCP government on Wednesday defended its move to pass a Bill in the Legislative Assembly, guaranteeing 75% reservation in all jobs for locals in Andhra Pradesh.
The bill, passed by a voice vote, is aimed at providing three-fourth of all jobs for locals in all industries, including units, factories, joint ventures and projects set up under public-private partnership mode in the state.
In a statement, Industries & Information Technology Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy said that the incentive model for industries that successive governments had followed, had resulted in enriching the companies but not the workforce.
"We have seen that in multiple reforms that have been taken up in the country, the incentives that have been offered to industries so far, have resulted in industries negating the state's financial flows but not creating any value addition in terms of employment. Employment for locals has contained itself to unskilled and semi-skilled workers," Goutham Reddy said.
"We are at the forefront of the third phase of the industrial revolution, which is social responsibility. In the coming days, the people of the country are going to look at this as a role model," he added.
Asked about the criticism that it was a rigid law that would deter investors, he said, "We have been very clear in the law that if you are not able to find the required employees, you can always approach the government and we are more than willing to look at it and make exemptions. It is not a rigid law. It is a very flexible law which is the requirement of the day."
While the draft Bill defined 'Locals' as candidates who were domiciled in the state of Andhra Pradesh, it did not elaborate on the requirements for 'domicile' status.
"First preference would be the person who has lost his land due to the industry. Second preference would be to those in the vicinity of the factory, and even there if people are not found, then the state of Andhra Pradesh would be considered as local," Goutham Reddy explained.
"The hope among local people who have given up their land and livelihood for the industry is that their children will be educated, skilled up and employed. Unfortunately, the last few governments have not been able to address this concern. It is a very progressive law as the state is going to join hands with the industry to develop the required quality workforce. We are taking the responsibility and the onus is on us," he added.
Pointing out that the after-effects of globalisation has resulted in a lot of countries reorienting their business policies, Goutham also cited the example of US President Donald Trump, who won his election on promises of getting jobs back to his country.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy said that existing industries would get three years to provide 75% jobs to locals and assured them that the government will spend the money and work with the industry to train the youth in the required skills.