A Private Member’s resolution on jobs reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes as well as other backward classes in the private sector is listed for discussion in the winter session of Parliament. The resolution, tabled in the last Parliament session by CPI Rajya Sabha member D Raja, could not come up discussion then. “I strongly feel that if the private sector is getting so much of help from the government, it should also help. They are getting a concession from the government on water, electricity and land. But they do not follow any recruitment policy (on reservation),” Raja told PTI. Raja said the government should bring in legislation on his resolution as job opportunities in the public sector and the government had either stagnated or reduced during the past few decades while private sector jobs were on the rise. In the resolution, Raja said SCs/STs or OBCs had been provided with reservation in jobs in the government on the basis of constitutional and statutory provisions to “fulfil the vision of the framers of the Constitution for addressing the problems of discrimination, inequality and deprivation caused by castes”.
He argued that government jobs were now shrinking because of privatisation and most of the jobs in any case were contractual, for which reservation was not applicable. “Reservation is being taken away through the back door,” he said. “In a market-driven economy where the corporate sector is the dominant engine of economic growth, most employment opportunities are now available in the private sector where reservation is not applicable.” he added. The Left leader further argued that the “constitutional provision of positive discrimination”… is being negated by “neo-liberal policies”, centred on market forces and the withdrawal of public sector enterprises.
Raja quoted former President K R Narayanan to press for the resolution. Narayanan, in a Republic Day eve speech, had said, “Indeed, in the present economic system and of the future, it is necessary for the private sector to adopt social policies that are progressive and more egalitarian for these deprived classes to be uplifted from their state of deprivation and inequality and given the rights of citizens and civilised human beings”. Raja will urge the government for the reservation of jobs for SCs/STs and OBCs in the private sector on the pattern of quotas in the government.