DMK urges PM to review income limit for OBCs for full quota

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Chennai, Apr 12 (UNI) The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, a key constituent of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review the income limit for the OBCs so that 100 per cent utilisation of 27 per cent quota earmarked for them in centrally run higher education institutions was ensured.

Union Shipping and Highways Minister T R Baalu, who met the Prime Minister today, on behalf of DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, conveyed the compliments for ensuring the historic achievement by the UPA government for the cause of reservation for OBCs in higher learning.

The Prime Minister, while acknowleding the inspiration of the DMK chief on the reservation issue, told him over phone that Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh has already been advised to study the pros and cons of the issue, including the creamy layer aspect with all the allies and political parties for evolving a consensus in the matter.

In a communication handed over to the Prime Minister, Mr Baalu said the Supreme court verdict, upholding 27 per cent reservation was a strong vindication of the UPA government's committment to reservation.

''However, the parametres for identifying the OBCs as they exist today are sweeping and indiscriminatory. Further, the income limit prescribed for the purpose, has become outdated particularly in the wake of the recent Sixth Pay Commission recommendations'', he said.

Mr Baalu said the general perception now is that even the children of Group D employees may notbe able to enjoy the benefits of reservation under the present limit of Rs 2.50 lakh.

''Even otherwise, 27 per cent set apart for the OBCs could not be fully benefitted by these communities because of the stringent parametres, though the socially and educationally backward classes, whom the OBCs belong to constitute well over the 50 per cent of the population'', he said.

''Therefore, there is an urgent need to review the income limit so that 100 per cent utilisation of 27 per cent quota earmarked for them is ensured'', Mr Baalu contended. He suggested that further view of the DMK would be offered by Mr Karunanidhi shortly, so that elaborate discussions on the issue could be facilitated at an appropriate time.

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