Creamy Layer limit raised to Rs 4.5 lakh; Major OBC demand met

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) Bowing to the pressure from various quarters, the Government today increased the income limit for determining ''creamy layer'' among Other Backward Castes(OBCs) from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh per annum to Rs 4.5 lakh per annum, a measure that would benefit a large number of people belonging to these castes.

Those coming under ''creamy layer'' are excluded from the benefit of reservation.

The revision in the income criteria was approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet here. It was last revised in 2004.

The Rs 4.5 lakh cut-off slab was recommended by the National Commission for Backward Classes in its report submitted to the Centre in July. The Commission had reasoned that in view of the sharp rise in the cost of living, a rise in the inome limit was necessary.

The revision in the income criteria would now benefit a large number of OBCs who otherwise would have been excluded from it in view of the recent Supreme Court Judgement.

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 determining the layer.

Even before the apex court 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 one, 2007.

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

Briefing mediapersons about the Cabinet decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said sons and daughters of persons belonging to the Other Backward Castes and having an annual income below Rs 4.5 lakh will not come under the Creamy Layer and will get the benefits of reservation for OBCs in direct recruitment in civil posts and services and admission in Central Educational Institutions.

UNI NAZ RP PM1530

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