State Commissions demand raise in income limit for creamy layer

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) Almost all the state commissions for backwards classes today demanded an increase in the income limit for separating creamy layer while awarding reservation to Other Backward Classes(OBCs).

Chairpersons of the state commissions conveyed their views to the National Commission for Backward Classes at a meeting convened here today to elicit their views on the issue, as the Centre wants a redefinition of the creamy layer, the demand for which has been raised from various quarters.

Karnataka, while giving its views to the NCBC at the meeting, recommended that the income limit for determining the creamy layer be raised to Rs 10 lakh. Chairperson of the state's commission for backward classes Dr C S Dwarakanath told UNI that in view of the escalating cost of education and the spiralling price index, the limit suggested by him was absolutely justified.

Madhya Pradesh also wanted the same limit while Andhra Pradesh was for Rs five lakh. Other states too want the limit to be raised.

The Commission had last month brought out a public notice to invite public views on what the revised limits should be. It has to give its final views on the matter by the month end.

The Supreme Court, while upholding the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions had recently asked the Government to exclude the creamy layer, following which demands were made from several political parties and other organisations to increase the income limit for excluding the advanced classes among the OBCs from the benefit of reservation.

Even before the SC judgement came on the contentious issue in March, the Government had entrusted the job of revising the creamy layer to the NCBC.

The decision of the Human Resource Development Ministry in 2006 to extend 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in institutions of higher learning like the IITS and IIMs had evoked countrywide protests from some quarters, following which the Centre had appointed an oversight committee on implementation of quota in these institutions.

The committee headed by Mr Veerappa Moily, suggested an increase in the general seats so as not to harm the prospects of general category candidates.

After the Moily Committee Report, Parliament passed a legislation for extending the reservation which became an Act on January 1, 2007.

However, the Act was immediately challenged in court, which stayed its operation. In March this year, Supreme Court in its final judgement upheld the Act, but said the creamy layer should be excluded from the benefit.

While some were expecting the Government to file a review petition, it chose to go in for a redefinition of the creamy layer instead, which was demanded from various other quarters.

The existing ceiling is at Rs 2.5 lakh per year. However, a number of political leaders and OBC representatives feel that the cut-off slab was not realistic in view of the sharp increase in the cost of living in recent years.

UNI NAZ SP RAI1335

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