"We are in talks with the private sector on the issue and don't want to take any stringent step. We want to do this in an amicable way," she said in the Lok Sabha. (Agencies)
Selja was winding up a discussion on a bill seeking to modify the existing list of Scheduled Castes in four states, including Odisha, and omit one entry from the list of Sikkim.
The Minister said, "We want that they (private sector) should realise the importance of the issue. If they don't take it seriously there will be consequences."
The House later passed the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2012.
The proposal to amend the list of SCs in states had been received from Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tripura and Sikkim governments.
The Bill seeks to modify certain existing entries for inclusion of certain communities as Scheduled Castes in the case of the first four states and omission of an existing entry in the case of Sikkim.
Changes in the list were proposed by the five state governments and given concurrence by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the Registrar General of India.
On the issue of SC/ST Sub-Plan, Selja commended the work done by Andhra Pradesh in bringing a bill to enforce this and said, "We also want to bring a central legislation for the purpose. We and Planning Commission have taken up this issue."
Under the SC/ST Sub-Plan, states are to spend a certain part of the Budget for uplift of the downtrodden.
Speaking on the Bill introduced in May last year, Virender Kashyap (BJP) said the government must come out with a policy to resolve issues related to identifying castes falling under SC category.
PL Punia (Congress) demanded job reservation for SCs in the private sector. Shailendra Kumar (SP) and Bali Ram (BSP) demanded quota in private sector to those belonging to socially backward communities.
Bhudeo Choudhary (JD-U), Saugata Roy (TMC), Sakti Mohan Malik (CPI-M) and Mohan Jena (BJD) also spoke of the need for taking measures to uplift people belonging to backward class.
Noting that caste system in the country is "very complex" Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) said so many deserving backward castes were out of the ambit of reservation policy and demanded steps to make them beneficiaries of reservation.
"We are in talks with the private sector on the issue and don't want to take any stringent step. We want to do this in an amicable way," she said in the Lok Sabha.