Bengaluru: The Karnataka government is in the process of drafting a legislation that will mandate 75% reservations for locals in various sectors, including private industries.
The ‘Karnataka Employment of Local Candidates in Factories, Shops, Commercial Establishments, MSMEs and Joint Ventures Bill’ will be similar to what neighboring Andhra Pradesh implemented last July.
Speaking to CNN-News18, labour minister S Suresh Kumar said that it wasn't a matter of discrimination against anyone, but was only in the interest of the locals that such a law was being thought of.
"Contrary to what you are saying, Kannadigas are the ones who feel that they are being discriminated against, that they are not getting jobs and others are coming and usurping the opportunities. This is a serious concern. So after consulting all stakeholders and legal experts, we will finalise this bill soon,” he said.
The department has already issued a notification finalising the criterion for who will be considered a Kannadiga.
"Anyone who is residing in Karnataka for the past 15 years and who knows, reads and writes in Kannada will be considered a Kannadiga. I think it is fair enough that people in Karnataka should know how to read and write Kannada that, too, if they are working here," Kumar added.
Officials said another reason why such a legislation is being mulled is to prevent accidents resulting from language barriers at workplaces.
Whether the bill will be taken up in the upcoming budget session of the state assembly is not yet confirmed as the finer details of the bill are still being worked on.
“We hope to convince all people, even those who may oppose it, about the necessity and legalities of this legislation. We are talking to various stakeholders, industry captains and industry chiefs as we want to implement it with everyone's consensus,” the minister said.