State panels favour higher income limit for OBC creamy layer

June 12th, 2008 - 9:25 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) A majority of the state commissions for backward classes Wednesday favoured an increase in the income limit for defining the ‘creamy layer’ or the better-off among to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), who would be ineligible for government job and education quota. The chairpersons of the state commissions presented their views before the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) at a meeting convened here Wednesday to seek a feedback of their views on the issue.

The government has taken up the process of redefining the ‘creamy layer’ as various political parties and other quarters have demanded revision in the segment’s income limit.

In giving the green signal for the law providing for reservation of OBC students in higher education, the Supreme Court had asked the government to keep what it called the ‘creamy layer’ out of its ambit.

The government could go ahead with its plans to double the creamy layer income cut-off from the present Rs.250,000 a year so that more people can benefit from the 27 percent quota in institutes of higher learning, a senior official said.

This could be a way out instead of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its verdict upholding the OBC quota, while excluding from it the affluent sections, an official said.

The definition of the creamy layer was spelt out in a 1993 government notification issued by the NCBC.

In April, the government asked the NCBC to rework the eligibility criteria to exclude only the most socially advanced people or sections so that more people can benefit from the OBC reservation.

The NCBC then consulted various financial agencies. It said it would come up with its new recommendations for on the creamy layer issue by August.

Besides increasing the income slab, the NCBC and the representatives of the state commissions for backwards classes also discussed other factors such as inclusion of religious minorities and removing some of the designated people or groups from the present creamy layer list.

Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh too has favoured raising the present income slab.

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