Bhubaneswar: Members cutting across party lines Tuesday expressed concern over engagement of workforce from outside in Odisha’s industries, maintaining that the state government must take measures to ensure that jobs are reserved for local people.
During the Question Hour in the Assembly, the legislators alleged that business establishments in the state were ignoring local people and hiring outsiders.
State Labour Minister Sushant Singh, however, rejected the allegation and claimed that 85 per cent of the employees working in Odisha’s industrial units are locals.
“As many as 2,66,854 persons have been employed in 550 industries in Odisha. Eighty-five per cent of them are local people, while 853 hail from outside the state,” Singh said.
Several legislators, including BJP MLA Mohan Majhi, BJD members Atanu S Nayak and P K Deb, and Congress lawmaker Suresh Routray, asked the minister to direct firms operating in Odisha to reserve 90 per cent jobs for local youths in unskilled category, 60 per cent in semi-skilled category and 30 per cent in managerial-level posts.
The BJD members also sought to know how many Odia people are engaged in central public sector units, such as the Paradip port, IOCL, IFCO and PPL.
Assuring the MLAs that their apprehensions will be taken into account, the minister said he would initiate a probe and take action against the errant companies, if found guilty of ignoring local people. “The government will not hesitate to take action against companies not abiding by the norms of the state government while hiring people for their projects,” Singh added.