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Industry chamber opposes Maha quota; terms it political move


Maharashtra government’s move to introduce reservation for the Marathas and Muslims has little socio-economic relevance
PRITHVIRAJ CHAVANMumbai: Claiming that Maharashtra government’s move to introduce reservation for the Marathas and Muslims has little socio-economic relevance, a prominent industry body today alleged it was a political move.

“The new mechanism seems more political rather than having socio/economic content,” Indian Merchants Chamber president Prabodh Thakker said, reacting to the ordinance on quota promulgated by the Congress-NCP government.

The ordinance has been promulgated ahead of the state Assembly polls expected in October.

“IMC is concerned about the manner in which the reservation issue is being promoted and handled,” Thakker said.

IMC is one of the oldest industry chambers which was patronised by Mahatma Gandhi.

The Prithviraj Chavan-led government had last month promulgated the ordinance, which paved the way for a 16 per cent reservation to the politically influential Marathas and five per cent to Muslims.

Initially, it was announced that the reservation will be only for government jobs and for students in educational institutions. However, fine print of the order issued by the government says that the reservation will be applicable for private sector as well.

As per the ordinance, the quotas will be applicable to industries or organisations which have received the state government’s help in the form of concessions on land prices or financial aid.

In his statement, Thakker did not make any explicit mention to the inclusion of the private sector but said that the “IMC is not appreciative of the current announcement” and would like to convey the need to “promote meritocracy” in the society.

“Even after 67 years we have not been able to address the fundamental issue of reservation,” he said, asserting that the IMC supports affirmative action for weaker sections and would like to play the role of enabler in the same.

Chavan had earlier said the Maratha community has been included in the list of beneficiaries as it is “educationally and socially backward”, while stating that the quota for Muslims is not based on religion but on the social and economic backwardness.

The move has been opposed by a host of bodies and a public interest litigation has also been filed against it.


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