The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to reserve 75 per cent of jobs to locals in all industries in the state even as Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy assured the industry that his government will extend every possible help to them.
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.
Claiming that it is a pro-industry move, Jagan Reddy alleged that some vested interests doing false propaganda that this will lead to closure of industrial units and stop flow of industrial investment into the state.
After the debate on the bill in the absence of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Chief Minister tried to allay the apprehensions over the legislation.
Defending the move to reserve jobs for locals, he said this would make people accept the industries and thus help them to prosper.
Assuring that there will be no corruption at any level in the state, Jagan Reddy said the government would pursue a transparent policy for industrialisation.
"We are ready to do anything for you. We only want jobs for our children," the Chief Minister told the industry.
He said the industries make promises to local people and acquire lands but after setting the units, fail to provide jobs to local educated youth. "Why will people come forward to give land if their children and the educated youth do not get jobs," he asked.
Jagan Reddy said due to lack of jobs in the state, educated youth were forced to migrate to cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and even abroad.
He believes that with this legislation, a situation will be created where people will accept industry and come forward to give their lands.
He said if the industries did not find required qualification and skills among locals in the immediate vicinity of their plant, they can enlarge the area of their search to 'mandal' (block), district or even state.
He announced that a skill development centre will be set up in an engineering college in every parliamentary constituency to train educated youth in the skills required for the industry in that constituency.
The Chief Minister said existing industries get three years to provide 75 per cent jobs to locals. The government will spend the money and work with the industry to train the youth in the required skills.
Several members of the ruling YSR Congress Party, who participated in the debate, hailed the bill as a historic move.
A couple of members including Mekapati Goutham Reddy said the move was in line with the global trend. They pointed out that Donald Trump won the US Presidential elections on the promise of jobs to Americans.
They said the move will help people in rural areas, who were losing their lands and livelihood for industries but were not getting any benefit from them.