The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed the A.P. Employment of Local Candidates in Industries/Factories Bill. It is a significant piece of legislation providing for 75% reservation to local youth in industries and factories, and train eligible candidates for bridging the skill gap.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy defended the Bill, saying the policy was investment-friendly and flexible and that he was ready to sort out the issues faced by industries. He dismissed reports that no major industry from outside the State would set up its unit in Andhra Pradesh.
Moved by Minister for Labour, Employment and Training G. Jayaram, the Bill is applicable to all industries and factories and also Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects already established and those set up after it becomes an Act.
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.
Telugu Desam Party MLAs, who staged a walk out in the morning in protest against the alleged denial of opportunity to their leader N. Chandrababu Naidu to speak on farm loan waiver, stayed away from the proceedings.
Making a short statement on the Bill, Mr. Jagan said where qualified local candidates were not available, the industries and factories had to take steps to train and engage local candidates in three years within which period the government would provide the skilled manpower at its own cost. He pointed out that local candidates meant youth belonging to the entire State.
The Chief Minister said it was natural for land-owners to expect industries to provide jobs to their kith and kin and local youth for having given their holdings for the establishment of manufacturing units and bearing with pollution of a varying degree.
During deliberations with the stakeholders, the government owned up responsibility to make skilled youth available, for which it contemplated setting up skill development centres in all Parliamentary constituencies.
Mr. Jagan said the Collectors had been instructed to keep in touch with the industrialists to know their requirements and ensure that there was no dearth of skilled workforce. On its part, the government would take the captains of industry into confidence and do whatever they needed.