An alarming diktat: On Satyadeo Narain Arya's assent

Haryana’s new ‘75% jobs for locals’ law is a harbinger of doom

Apart from the power to enter firms’ premises for inspections, officials will decide if a firm can hire an outsider or should train local candidates instead, till they become proficient enough. Even if this harks back to an ‘Inspector Raj’ system, the process would dissuade employers from operating in the State, thus defeating the idea of boosting local jobs when unemployment is running high. But this is not just about ‘Happening Haryana’ becoming a difficult place to do business. A single disruption in the Gurgaon back office operations of a global firm or the supplies of auto components, on account of the new law, would be damaging to India’s already fragile reputation as a stable, trustworthy investment destination with a talented workforce. A possible investor exodus aside, this runs counter to the Prime Minister’s ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘One Nation One Market’ slogans. Rising unemployment could spur more States to follow suit, and the logic could be extended to internal capital flows next. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has already pointed out that Bihar’s deposits into the banking system are not matched by credit disbursals into the State. It is time the Centre dissuades such legislation which threatens to not only unleash a sort of ‘work visa’ regime for Indians within the country but also damage crucial workplace diversity. Immobilising a much-vaunted young workforce and rupturing the social fabric with this push for insularity would be the start of an unstoppable slide.

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