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Karnataka Government insists private firms to provide 80% reservation for locals

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Jagadish Shettar

In response to N.A. Haris (Congress) and Harish Poonja (BJP) in Legislative Assembly, on March 13, Jagadish Shettar, Minister of Major and Medium Industries said that the State has insisted that private companies irrespective of being small or big to provide 80 percent reservation in jobs for locals (Kannada-speaking people) in all categories.

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Moreover, Shettar said that the Karnataka government amended the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, 1961, to provide 100 percent reservation in group ‘C’ and group ‘D’ jobs for locals in the private sector. The state amended the rule last year to allow this.

Although, the amendment is expected to help in providing employment opportunities to the locals but activists are unhappy with the move as it does not assure the reservation. As per the rule, private companies can give priority to Kannadigas but it does not make it mandatory nor states any punitive measures if a company fails to do so.

A month ago, about 100 Kannada outfits had done a day-long shutdown in Karnataka under a common banner, seeking more jobs for Kannadigas in State-run enterprises and job reservation for locals in the private sector.

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Further, the Minister said it was decided that private companies keen on investing in tier-I and tier-II cities in the state will be given a form of a tax rebate. During an investment summit held in Hubbali last month, MoUs worth Rs 73,000 crore were signed.

To attract investment in tier II and tier III cities and provide infrastructure for investment, it was proposed that investment summits to be held in Mangaluru, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Mysuru, and other places.

Moreover, Shettar said that the draft of the new industrial policy (2019–24) is ready and has been sent for approval from the Finance Department.

The minister informed that medium-scale industries invested Rs 3,30,424 lakh and provided jobs to 23,409 people between 2016–17 and 2019–20. Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, and Gadag were the three districts that had zero investment during the three years, he added.

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