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1 Jun 2018

Sikkim plans private quota

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, May 31, 2018, Gangtok: The ruling party in Sikkim said on Wednesday that the government would frame a law to reserve 90 per cent of jobs to the Sikkimese people in private firms in the state.

The government had made an unsuccessful bid to bring in such a law in the past. The Assembly had passed the Local Employment Protection Bill 2010, reserving 90 per cent jobs in the private sector, but it was rejected by the President on the grounds it violated the fundamental rights of the people.

In a press release, the spokesman for the Sikkim Democratic Party, Bhim Dahal, listed a number of decisions, including job quota in the private sector, which had been approved by the SDP legislative party on Tuesday night. "The government will make a rule to give 90 per cent employment to residents of Sikkim in different sectors outside the government. The rule will be added to the old state law, Rule 4 (4)," said the release.

Rule 4(4) of the Sikkim Government Establishment Rules, 1974, deals with appointments in government service. The provision says non-Sikkimese may be appointed to government jobs only when eligible Sikkimese are not available.

Sikkim merged with India in 1975, and Article 371f of the Indian Constitution provides special status to Sikkim, including protecting the validity of any law framed before the merger.

K. T. Gyaltsen, the legal adviser to chief minister Pawan Chamling, said the new law would essentially seek to apply Rule 4 (4), which concerns employment in government, in the private sector as well. "It is just for the protection of employment for the local people in the private sector."

Pasang Sherpa, the chief convener of the Gorkha Apex Committee, which has been raising the demand for the job quota in the private sector for the Sikkemese people, said he was happy with the move.# "The government cannot bring in a new law like it tried to do with the Local Employment Protection Bill 2010, and risk it from being rejected," he said.

The Supreme Court had ruled that a new law should comply with features of the Constitution, but an old law will not have to because of the special status accorded to Sikkim.

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