PACHU MENON, MARGAO
For a state that has recognised the need for the private sector to flourish in order to generate equal employment opportunities for locals, it becomes pertinent that the labour department shuns its harsh stance vis-à-vis various employment restrictions imposed on the private sector. In an apparent bid to appear solicitous about the locals and their interests, the state’s Labour Minister has been taking a very strong exception to the maverick ways of private business establishments in Goa which have been very blatantly flouting the norms laid down by the government which makes it obligatory for the companies to recruit maximum number of locals on their rolls. Making his displeasure quite obvious over the participation of some of the companies in a job-mela in neighbouring Maharashtra for recruiting staff, the minister has made it mandatory for the private firms to obtain an NOC from his department before any attempt is made to scout for manpower from outside the state. Looking to amend the existing labour and employment laws in the state to make it difficult for Goan companies or companies operating in Goa to employ workers from other states, the government of Goa apparently wants a ‘monopoly’ on all the job vacancies in the private sector to combat the growing unemployment menace in the state. But considering the aversion shown by the locals for any employment but a government one, how absurd is the whole exercise by the department of labour and employment to ‘ensure’ that the employment prospects of the locals are not hampered! Moreover, the government has failed miserably in upgrading the skills of its manpower to suit the industry. There is an urgent need to introduce trade courses that will fetch the locals more jobs in the thriving private sector. Before going about castigating the private companies for employing outsiders, the government should be looking at the ‘job security’ aspect of a public sector employment that defines a local’s affinity for a job in any government department. Hence the onus is on the state government to work out modalities to create a more secure work environment in the private sector that could attract more of locals.