Modi Govt Plans To Raise OBC 'Creamy Layer' Income Limit To ₹12 Lakh; Will Increase Number Of Reservation Claimants
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party government has recommended raising the income limit for the creamy layer of other backward classes (OBCs) from ₹8 lakh to ₹12 lakh per annum.
In September 2017, the government had increased the income threshold for the creamy layer from ₹6 lakh to ₹8 lakh per annum, ThePrint reported.
This would mean that if a household's annual income is over ₹12 lakh per annum, it will be ineligible for caste-based reservation in government jobs and admission to government-funded educational institutions under the OBC category.
The move has reportedly come after recommendations of a government-appointed committee formulated to examine issues related to creamy layer equivalence among the Socially and Educationally backward classes (SEBCs).
The committee in its report proposed to include salaries while counting the gross annual income for determining the OBC creamy layer and raise the income ceiling from the present ₹8 lakh.
It also proposed to include households with landholdings of over 10 hectares, of which at least four hectares are under irrigation, in the creamy layer.
The ministry has now circulated a Cabinet note on the recommendations, seeking suggestions and inputs from other departments. The matter will be tabled before the Union Cabinet soon wherein a final decision will be taken, the sources said.
"The committee has suggested that all taxable income, including salary, should be counted, which will remove the possibility of any discrimination; and will also be simpler," said an official who didn't wish to be named.
The panel's second option was to continue with the current system with certain modifications — wherein salary is not part of the total income.
The ministry chose to take the first option in its Cabinet note. Further, in view of the committee's suggestion to raise the current income ceiling for the creamy layer, the ministry proposed to increase it to ₹12 lakh.
The OBCs are entitled to 27 per cent reservation in government jobs and admission to educational institutions. However, the creamy layer among them is excluded from such benefits. In the Mandal Commission case, the Supreme Court had said the creamy layer among the OBCs would not get reservation benefits and asked the government to decide criteria for determining that.
Presently, those with annual parental income (excluding earnings from farming, agriculture land, etc.) of ₹8 lakh and above are not eligible for reservation benefits. Further, those who hold constitutional positions and enter Class-A positions in the government sector are automatically included in the creamy layer.