Noting that progress made by industries in reporting data on SC/ST appointment is "very slow", Union Minister Kumari Selja today urged the private sector to play a more affirmative role in empowerment of the socially weaker sections.
Addressing a CII conference here, Selja also said the industrial sector must address Corporate Social Responsibility towards the weaker sections with greater vigour.
"I am told that there is no information available about the companies reporting the data on appointment of SCs/STs.
This shows the progress is very slow, and should beexpedited.
The industry sector under its CSR must address the weaker sections of society with greater vigour," the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister said.
Apart from the government trying its best to ensure inclusiveness in all areas of development, Selja said, "the private sector too has a major role to play as far as affirmative action for weaker sections is concerned."
Referring to the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana for integrated development of 1,000 SC-majority villages in Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, she urged the industry associations to adopt such villages for making them into model ones.
"I am happy to note that CII has adopted Nawanshahr and Cooch Behar districts in Punjab and West Bengal for skill development and livelihood promotion, as a part of its commitment to affirmative action. However, the confederation needs to expedite action in these districts," she said.
Selja also expected that other industry chambers would take suitable steps to give required fillip to area of affirmative action in private sector.
"Private sector is the largest employment generator in our society. If it does not address the issues of inclusion, demands for inclusion of socially deprived section in private sector from multiple quarters will keep on emerging," she said.
"I am sure the industry associations would take more vigorous steps towards affirmative action for the weakest and poorest sections of our society and strengthen the hands of the government to contain such demands," Selja said.
She also emphasised on promoting entrepreneurship in rapidly growing sectors like retail and tourism and stressed on paying attention to skill development of backward people.
"Planning Commission in its Approach to 12th Plan, has the objective of faster and more inclusive growth. It states that inclusive growth should be reflected in better opportunities for wage employment and livelihood and in improvement of basic amenities like water, electricity, etc,"