COVID-19 SPECIAL

India grapples with rising unemployment: Growing calls in some states to reserve jobs for locals amid Covid-19

Employees at a diamond jewellery manufacturing factory in Mumbai last month. India's economy contracted 23.9 per cent in the April to June quarter - the highest contraction since India began keeping quarterly records in 1996, and many experts fear pr
Employees at a diamond jewellery manufacturing factory in Mumbai last month. India's economy contracted 23.9 per cent in the April to June quarter - the highest contraction since India began keeping quarterly records in 1996, and many experts fear protectionist moves could multiply amid the economic crisis. It is estimated that around 19 million salaried, formal economy jobs have been lost after a lockdown was imposed in the country in March because of the pandemic.PHOTO: REUTERS

Protectionist calls to reserve employment for locals are getting louder in some Indian states as provincial governments try to combat rising unemployment while ensuring labour mobility, which is essential for economic growth.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced last month that all government jobs would be reserved for "the children of Madhya Pradesh". The Haryana government also plans to introduce a Bill in the state assembly in an effort to reserve 75 per cent of all private-sector jobs for the state's youth.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2020, with the headline 'Growing calls in some states to reserve jobs for locals'. Subscribe