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Attempt to regulate salaries now may scare off potential outside investors�

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 6 - Admitting that many private sector firms who have set up industries and other establishments in the State do not provide good remuneration to highly qualified local youths employed by them, the government said that any attempt to regulate the salaries or set a minimum wage would, however, not be feasible at this moment as any such attempt may scare potential outside investors.

Speaking during the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Minister for Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the job market in Assam has not yet reached the level of vibrancy and dynamism as is found to be case in big commercial centres like Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore.

He said that industry and investments have started coming to Assam only in recent times and so the priority now is facilitate opportunities for business houses so that they can set up shop in Assam and create employment opportunities in the State for local youths.

�Any move to regulate the salary structure at this moment would be counterproductive and hurt the investment climate of the State,� Patowary said.

He said the Assam has received investments to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore since the present regime took over in 2016 and this has resulted in generation of direct employment to around 40,000 persons and also many more indirect employment opportunities.

�It is true that in many cases the salaries given by private players to highly qualified local youths here are not very high. They should get better remuneration. But we also will have to admit that the job market is Assam has not yet become as dynamic as in other places where frequent job switching by qualified people is the norm. If we force the hands of business houses on the issue, investors may panic and withdraw. Our first priority now is to attract investments so that more and more jobs locally can be created,� Patowary said.

He also lambasted successive Congress regimes in the Centre for not doing anything to promote the industrial climate in Assam and said industrial investments in the State started to materialise in a big way only after Atal Bihari Vajpayee took over as Prime Minister.

He added that the Act East policy of the present Central dispensation holds a lot of potential for growth of trade, commerce and industry in Assam.

Earlier, raising a supplementary, AGP MLA Pabindra Deka called upon the State Government to bring about some law to regulate salaries paid by private firms in the State to their employees and said that many highly qualified youths are working for measly wages in many companies.

In his written reply, Patowary said that there are over 16.65 lakh registered educated unemployed in Assam. Among them, over 7,000 are engineering graduates, over 9,700 are MA, over 5,000 are MSc and over 1,700 are MCom.

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