ibnlive » India

Nov 08, 2006 at 09:17pm IST

India Inc says no to compulsary quota

New Delhi: The Prime Minister wants speedy implementation of his affirmative action policies for SCs and STs in the private sector.

The private sector says it's ready to do it but adds that the only thing they are opposed to is that things should not be made compulsory.

"It is not that we are shying away from it, but we need to make it work in a manner that allows both the social obligations to be achieved and at the same time ensure that the industry does not become uncompetitive by trying to put a square peg in a round hole," says Vice President of ASSOCHAM, Murli Venkatraman.

The Government now wants to know how much the corporate sector practices what it's preaching.

That's why the department of Industries has asked all industrial representatives to provide details of SCs and STs employed by them.

The tricky part though is to figure out the number of SCs and STs already in the work place as demanded by the Prime Minister.

"Most of the industries have taken off that particular sentence or phrase from their employment form. It's difficult because we dont have details on a caste basis. But now we have a proforma which we are going to ask companies to fill up," says the President of ASSOCHAM, Anil Agarwal.

The corporate sector says it will push deserving SC/ST candidates, but will not relax recruitment and promotion norms.

CNN-IBN now has details of a code of conduct prepared by industry body ASSOCHAM for all its member companies to reply to the Prime Minister's queries. Some of the key features of the code of conduct are -

  • Inclusion of socially and economically disadvantaged SC and ST in the workplace
  • Promise of no bias against candidates belonging to SC and STs
  • Written policy statement on promotion of inclusiveness of SC and STs in private sector employment
  • Efforts to upgrade skills of SC and ST employees
  • Senior executive accountable to the CEO to promote inclusive programs for SC and STs

The corporate sector can breathe easy, at least for some time. But the Prime Minister has put up a tough list of recommendations and if his expectations are not lived upto, that equation could well change in future.