New Delhi, Jul 23: The Commission for Economically Backward Classes has stated that the upper castes who do not pay income tax are similar to other backward castes (OBCs).
The Commission, chaired by SR Sinho was formed in response of the loud cry for reservation benefits for the poor among upper castes.
Commission has recommended that upper castes who do not pay income tax will be given special treatment in key sectors like education, housing, health and social sector.
The panel has even given a rough estimate of the EBCs, six crore. After visiting 28 states over four years, the Commission has stated that EBCs form 20 percent of the population which is roughly one crore families. At an average of six members per family, the figure stands at six crore.
The policy of the Commission will have far-reaching consequences. The introduction of economic criteria to affirmative action may trigger a new debate if it is expanded to include reservation.
The present quota regime is limited to SC/STs and OBCs which are communities facing social backwardness. The new move would lead to insertion of economic criteria in reservation policy.