In a politically significant decision, the Union cabinet on Thursday raised the creamy layer restriction on annual income from Rs4.5 lakh to Rs6 lakh for enjoying the reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category.
A cabinet note stated the revision was necessary in view of the increase in the Consumer Price Index and to enable more persons to take advantage of reservation benefits in government services and admission to central educational institutions. “This would bring about equity and greater inclusiveness in society. The department of personnel and training and the ministry of human resource development would issue necessary orders to this effect,” a note circulated in the cabinet meeting said.
The creamy layer bars the affluent among OBCs from reservation benefit on the basis of family income.
Raising the bar to Rs 6 lakh would allow more OBCs to avail of the 27% quota in jobs and education.
“It would enable more persons to take advantage of reservation benefits extended to OBCs in government services and admission to central educational institutions,” a statement issued by the government said.
“This would bring about equity and greater inclusiveness in society. The Department of Personnel and Training and the Ministry of Human Resource Development would issue necessary orders to this effect,” it said.
The limit for income was decided in 2008, according to which families with an annual income of Rs 4.5 lakh and above cannot be allowed the benefits.
According to the previous recommendation made by the OBC Commission, the ceiling was kept at Rs 12 lakh per annum for urban areas and Rs 9 lakh for rural areas. Sources said this recommendation was not financially feasible as it would have reduced the number of people that comprise the creamy layer.
No cut in grain quota: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the PM Manmohan Singh also decided to continue during the current financial year the same scale of foodgrain supplies — 15 kilo per APL (above poverty line) family per month in 22 states and union territories and 35 kg per family per month in 13 states to those falling in the category of the Targeted Public Distribution System.