OBC creamy layer bar raised, panel to ensure quota benefits reach all

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The government on Wednesday raised the creamy layer ceiling by Rs 2 lakh and announced setting up
of a commission to work out sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for a “more
equitable distribution of reservation benefits.”
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said after a cabinet meeting here that OBC families earning up to
Rs 8 lakh per annum will not be considered in the creamy layer. Earlier, this ceiling was Rs 6 lakh per
annum.
“The cabinet was apprised that the creamy layer criterion limit has been raised to Rs 8 lakh annually
for the central government,” he said.
Asked if the raised limit will also be applicable to public sector undertakings, Jaitley said the issue was
under “active consideration of the government”.

Jaitley said the cabinet approved a proposal for setting up of a commission under article 340 of the
Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the OBCs.
He said the commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation
among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs
included in the Central list.
It will work out the mechanism and parameters for sub-categorization within such OBCs, identify the
respective castes or communities or sub-castes in the central list of OBCs and classify them into their
respective sub-categories.
“With this, those in the broad category of OBCs who were till now devoid of benefits of reservation,
will get the benefits. There will be more equitable distribution,” he said.
The commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the
chairperson.
Jaitley said the National Commission for Backward Classes had given its recommendation in 2011 that
there should be sub-categorization and parliamentary Standing Committee had also given such a
recommendation.
The Supreme Court, in its November 1992 order, had observed that there is no Constitutional or legal
bar to a state categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward.
The minister said 11 states have already implemented the sub-categorization for state level services.
These are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Haryana, Karnataka, West
Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir (for Jammu region).
On whether the government is going to review the reservation mechanism, Jaitley said: “There is no
such proposal… there will be no review.”
On caste census, social justice and empowerment minister Thawarchand Gehlot, who was also present
at the press meet, said the information about the census is with the Home Ministry.
He said the central OBC list has over 5,000 castes and communities.

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