Himachal takes stronger stance on jobs to locals in industries based in state
The government is also committed to encouraging industries to hire employees on a more consistent basis, he said. Harsh Wardhan Chauhan addressed these concerns in response to questions posed by MLAs KL Thakur and Indra Dutt Lakhanpal, with supplementary queries from MLA Hoshiar Singh, C.P.S. Sanjay Awasthi, and MLA Sukhram.
In a recent statement during the Question Hour in the Assembly, industries minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan announced that industries failing to employ at least 80% locals would face a discontinuation of incentives. This move is part of the government’s concerted efforts to provide more employment opportunities to people of Himachal Pradesh within the industrial sector. The government is also committed to encouraging industries to hire employees on a more consistent basis, he said. Harsh Wardhan Chauhan addressed these concerns in response to questions posed by MLAs KL Thakur and Indra Dutt Lakhanpal, with supplementary queries from MLA Hoshiar Singh, CPS Sanjay Awasthi, and MLA Sukhram.
Industries Minister ,Harsh Wardhan Chauhan provided an overview of the current industrial landscape, revealing that there are presently 27,719 industrial units operating within the state, employing a total of 2,28,977 individuals. Of these employees, 1,86,289 are Himachali residents. This equates to 81.36 percent of the industrial workforce being comprised of locals. In the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) industrial area, the percentage of Himachali employees stands at 72.6%. The minister explained that in certain cases, the expertise required for specific roles is not readily available among the local population, necessitating the recruitment of labour from outside the state.
MLA Sukhram pressed for a list differentiating between Himachali and non-Himachali employees within the industries, seeking greater transparency on the issue.
Chief parliamentary secretary Sanjay Awasthi raised concerns about the recent downsising of employees at the Ambuja and Adani cement plants. He pointed out that since the acquisition of these plants from Adani, approximately 200 employees have been laid off, and even those who lost their land have not had their trucks installed. Awasthi requested government intervention to address these issues.
Harsh Wardhan Chauhan responded by explaining that employees from Himachal Pradesh are being transferred from the Barmana and Dadla Cement Plants, which may lead to their resignation. The government has instructed plant management not to transfer Himachali workers.
Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu expressed concerns about potential strikes being the reason for the delay in truck installations. He urged the Leader of the Opposition, Jai Ram Thakur, to assist in facilitating discussions with Adani to resolve these issues amicably.
Steel smart city
In a separate development, Chief Minister Sukhu, responding to MLA Sudhir Sharma’s question, declared that Shimla has achieved the status of a steel smart city. He personally inspected the slaughterhouse and noted that the government has declined to proceed with certain smart city projects due to prevailing circumstances. While the project is slated to conclude in March 2024, ongoing projects will continue as planned. Sukhu revealed that ₹500 crore has been approved by the Central Government for various initiatives under the Dharamshala Smart City Scheme. Of this amount, ₹490 crore has been received, with ₹396.75 crore already spent.
MLA Sudhir Sharma voiced concerns about the quality of work under the Smart City initiatives in Shimla and Dharamshala, highlighting the construction of elevated bridges that are not easily accessible to the public. He demanded an investigation into the quality of work and action against those responsible.
MLA Harish Janartha pointed out that project delays are resulting in increased costs, necessitating loans to complete the work. He also noted that the Smart City projects have left debris scattered throughout Shimla, causing blockages in culverts and drains.
MLA Rajesh Dharmani said that non-technical personnel are making decisions on technical aspects of the Smart City projects. He emphasized the importance of involving qualified technical experts in project approvals. He further pointed out discrepancies in the rates for excavation work in Dharamshala.
In response to these concerns, Chief Minister Sukhu assured that consideration would be given to relocating offices that were shifted due to political reasons. If necessary, the office of the National Highway (NH) department may be returned to Kangra district.