Govt prefers smooth process for minority reservations: Khursheed

21 Jun 2009, 0922 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: The government will prefer a smooth process for reservation of jobs for minorities in the private sector rather than "thrusting it

down to anybody’s throat", says minority affairs minister Salman Khursheed.

Refusing to go into issues like a deadline by which the minority reservation in private sector would become a reality, he said the government is proceeding with "as much urgency" as it can on the issue.

"People will have some doubts on reservation. But in democracy, you go towards anything with persuasion and talks. That will be done. We are talking but we do not want to thrust it down anybody’s throat," Khursheed said when asked about the vexed issue.

Asked about the time frame in which minority reservation in private sector could become a reality, he said, "This is a process. I can’t give a deadline on a process. All I can say is that we are proceeding with much urgency as we can."

Khursheed, who is also Minister for Corporate Affairs, felt the industry had a positive attitude on the issue and are not opposed to reservation.

"The responses that I got from the industry are quite encouraging," he said when asked about the private sector’s response to the issue.

To a question whether the private sector has showed its readiness to implement minority reservation, Khursheed said, "I have not found reluctance among people that I have talked to."

"They responded well. I found them extremely positive. I see no reason why we should be cynical about it (the idea that industry would oppose reservation)," he added.

He also felt that ifindustries demand incentives at a later stage for implementing minority reservation, the government should discuss it.

"They (industries) may at some stage talk about incentives. I think if incentives can be thought about, incentives can be built into affirmative actions, we should certainly talk about it," Khursheed said.

The minister, however, skirted a query whether industries have demanded incentives, saying, "I do not know. We are still talking. I said that they might seek it at some stage."

Terming reservation for minorities in private sector "a common goal of the government as well as the industry", Khursheed categorically said, "No question of forcing. We have to inspire."

"This is a common goal of the government as well as the industry. Why should we see the industry as more self-centred than we are. We believe there is enlightenment in the industry," he said. 

Found in the Times of India

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