The ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for OBC reservation has been raised to Rs 8 lakh from the existing Rs 6 lakh per year, according to an official order issued today. This means that children of persons having a gross annual income of Rs 8 lakh or above for a period of three consecutive years would fall under the creamy layer category and would not be entitled to the benefit of reservation available to Other Backward Classes. “It has now been decided to raise the income limit from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh per annum for determining the creamy layer among the Other Backward Classes,” the order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
In 1993, the limit was kept at Rs 1 lakh. It was raised thrice — to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs 6 lakh in 2013. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on August 23 announced that the Union Cabinet had been formally apprised of the decision to increase the limit for central government jobs. He had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted in Assam that the bar defining creamy layer would be raised.
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry had proposed that OBC families which earn more than Rs 8 lakh per year should be under the creamy layer category. “These measures are part of the government’s efforts to ensure greater social justice and inclusion for members of the Other Backward Classes,” an official release issued recently said. The government has already introduced in Parliament a bill to provide Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.
It has also decided to set up a commission, under Section 340 of the Constitution, to sub-categorise the OBCs so that the more “under-privileged” among them can avail the benefit of reservation for government jobs and seats in educational institutions.