An employee standing at the window looks out over construction sites from the Amazon.com Inc. office campus in Hyderabad
An employee standing at the window looks out over construction sites from the Amazon.com Inc. office campus in Hyderabad | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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Recently the BJP-led government oin Haryana passed a draconian law, which provides reservation of up to 75 per cent to residents of the state in the private sector.

We have to give credit to the government because they have succesfully made it so much more complicated to do business in India.

What distinguishes the private sector from the public sector is the inherent competition and a hunger for improvement.

Today, in the post-Covid era, India has a once in a lifetime opportunity to become the next manufacturing hub of the world. It is evident from the central government’s recent embrace of the private sector — through a push to minimise bureaucracy and deregulation to promote business ‚ that it is going to be the engine driving India’s growth in this rapidly changing technological world.

Then in this environment of hope, we suddenly got a huge shock from the same party’s government with a law that forces the private companies to provide reservation.

What sort of messaging is this from a party which claims itself a party to support meritocracy?

The law itself fundamentally undermines the basic essence of the Constitution. It was because of such draconian laws that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir worsened.

Moreover, Gurugram, will be the hardest hit with this law. The entire Manesar-Gurugram economic belt is a model that all states envy but this law will destroy the industries and will reinstate the license raj.

Political repercussions

This could be best described by what former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called ‘coalition drama’.

This law is also the polar opposite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s messaging and is against the basic rule of economics and will be a huge blow to Haryana.

It is highly likely that Uttar Pradesh will grab this opportunity and Noida will probably be the biggest benefactor. But there is a huge irony in this entire situation. Both UP and Haryana have a BJP government, so it remains to be seen how this will progress politically in the future.

Furthermore, industries and various institutes like NASSCOM have called out this regressive law and it is going to force the industries to think about their future prospects in the state.

MSMEs could also be the hardest hit. They do not have the necessary capital to relocate and many studies have showed that more than 50 per cent employees are not residents of the state.

FDI inflow could also be a thing of the past for Haryana and the entire industrial sector is going to have to make some difficult choices in the coming days.

Atmanirbhar vs ‘sarkaari nirbhar’

India has already suffered a huge brain drain to the West because professionals do not get the same support here. The love we Indians have for the so-called ‘sarkaari naukri’ and being in the safe zone without taking any risks has cost us greatly.

Our dependence on the government for everything and lack of individual self-reliance has promoted incompetent people and strengthened the bureaucracy, which has hurt India immensely in the long-run.

Recently, with rapid technological innovations taking over, the government has finally understood that they are not made for business and embraced private sector with open arms.

Jobs will be created and people will be employed if they are competent in the private sector. And instead of hijacking their day-to-day activities, the Indian government should foster them.

Economic prosperity goes hand-in-hand with economic freedom of individuals, which provided by the government itself. India needs to become “atmanirbhar” not “sarkari nirbhar”.

Somik Dhar is a student of Indian Institute of Engineering Science And Technology, Shibpur, Howrah

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