Cong asks private sector to help empower weaker sections

Stopping short of asking private sector to reserve jobs for disadvantaged groups, the Congress today asked the India Inc to share the responsibility of empowering the weaker sections.

New Delhi: Stopping short of asking private
sector to reserve jobs for disadvantaged groups, the Congress
today asked the India Inc to share the responsibility of
empowering the weaker sections.

"The empowerment of disadvantaged groups, particularly
scheduled tribes, minorities, OBCs and economically weaker
sections of the society is the responsibility that needs to be
shared by the government as well as the private sector,"
said the political resolution adopted by the 83rd plenary
session of the Congress.

Noting that social equity and equality of opportunity
cannot be achieved only by job reservation, the resolution
called for "radical shift in the mindset of institutions in
public and corporate sectors."

The government had in May said that it would make efforts
to ensure affirmative action for the deprived groups in the
private sector and try to create an atmosphere where trade and
industry could come forward to reserve jobs for them.

"To take forward the affirmative action, we need to
create an atmosphere so that trade and industry participants
help us on this issue. We are working hard towards that and we
acknowledge it needs to be taken forward fast," Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh had said then.

Reserving jobs in private sector or affirmative action
was part of the national Common Minimum Programme of UPA-I and
it had initiated a national dialogue with political parties
and industry to see how this can be implemented.

Pointing out that it was Congress which had implemented
27 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the OBCs,
the resolution urged the government to continue with both
legislative and administrative efforts to ensure that "all the
reservation quota are filled in a strict and timely manner."

The resolution also listed various schemes and amendments
in certain laws to achieve the target of social justice.

Maintaining that the "good work" should go on, the
resolution urged the government to "take a fresh and urgent
look at the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and the Indian Forest
Act of 1927 and the right to resettlement and rehabilitation
of displaced population."

Speaking on rights of minorities, the resolution
expressed satisfaction saying, "the government has fulfilled
its promises to improve to access to education for minorities
as well as ensuring communal harmony."

It also lauded the government for initiating steps for
establishing an `Equal Opportunity Commission` (EOC) to
address the grievances of the deprived groups.

Ironically, the mandate of the proposed EOC, which was
supposed to look after all disadvantaged groups, has already
been limited after several ministries cited problems of
overlapping of work.

A group of ministers (GoM) chaired by A K Antony sometime
back decided that EOC would look into matters concerning
minorities only.

On Panchayti Raj, the resolution asked the government to
ensure that people-oriented centrally sponsored schemes should
be designed in a manner to ensure administrative and economic
empowerment of local self-government in accordance with aims
and objectives of the legislation.

PTI

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