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'Creamy layer' income cap among OBCs raised to Rs 8L per annum

Prakash Kumar, NEW DELHI, DH News Service Aug 23 2017, 18:37 IST
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley , PTI File photo

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley , PTI File photo

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up a panel to examine sub-categorisation of the Socially and Educationally Other Backward Castes (OBCs).

The stratification of the OBC quota could lead to a quota within quota in OBC reservations, in a move that may have far reaching impact in national politics.

This could affect educationally and socially advanced communities within the backward classes like Yadavas who have benefited from the policy of positive discrimination brought by the Mandal Commission recommendation over the past three decades.

The Cabinet also gave nod to enhance the annual income ceiling for the OBC creamy layer category from the current Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

This would increase the existing number of beneficiaries of various Government programmes and schemes including 27% quota in education and employment under the non-creamy layer OBC category.

The Cabinet approved the two proposals at its meeting here on Wednesday.

“The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for setting up of a Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs),” the Government said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet meeting.

“We will request the President (Ram Nath Kovind) to constitute the Commission for sub-categorization of the OBCs specified in the (central) list,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Talking about the Government's decision to enhance the annual income ceiling for the OBC creamy layer category, he said the Prime Minister had given a hint of the move in Assam recently.

“It's official now. The Annual income ceiling (for the OBC creamy layer) has been enhanced to Rs 8 lakh from Rs 6 lakh,” Jaitley added.

The proposed Commission will examine the extent of “inequitable distribution” of benefits of reservation among the castes and communities included in the broad category of the OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list, the Government said.

“It will work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs, and take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of the OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories,” it said.

The Commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission, the government added.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already carried out sub-categorization of the OBCs.

This comes months after the Cabinet approved a proposal for setting up of a new commission for backward classes as a constitutional body. The National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSBC) Bill is currently pending for Parliament's clearance.

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