Scrap creamy layer ceiling for OBC quota: House panel members
December 29, 2016:The Indian Express
Members from both the BJP and Congress in a Parliamentary panel made a strong pitch for doing away with the ceiling of “creamy layer¶ for OBC reservation and giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes, headed by BJP member Ganesh Singh, which was reconstituted on December 5 this year, was briefed on both issues today by senior officials of the ministries of Finance; Social Justice and Empowerment; and Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Several members in the panel from Opposition parties took objection to the government’s “dilly-dallying¶ over both issues. With Other Backward Classes (OBC) constituting 44 per cent of the electorate in Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due early next year, the issue is expected to get traction. Sources said panel chairman Singh made a strong pitch for giving constitutional status to NCBC, a status already available to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
Singh was supported by other panel members from BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIADMK, JD(U) and the Congress.“Like provisions under Article 338(A) for NCSC and Article 338 (B) for NCST, we are demanding similar provisions under Article 338(C) for NCBC,¶ a panel member told The Indian Express. Article 338 stipulates for a Special Officer for SCs and STs, to be appointed by the President, to investigate all matters relating to safeguards provided by the Constitution for these sections.
So far only NCSC and NCST are commissions with constitutional status, a status being sought by both NCBC and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). The latter have statutory and not Constitutional powers. Constitutional authorities cannot be abolished, neither can their rules be changed without consent of states. Statutory bodies are created by Parliament’s law and are subject to change by a respective change in the law governing them.
Shakeel-uz-Zaman Ansari, an NCBC member, said the demand for Constitutional status to NCBC is pending ever since it was set up through NCBC Act, 1993.
In today’s meeting, the committee members also discussed the issue of NCBC’s recommendation to raise the ceiling for creamy layer for OBC reservation from the existing Rs 6 lakh to Rs 12 lakh. The government is said to be considering raising the creamy layer bar to only Rs 8 lakh.
Several panel members said the creamy layer for OBC reservation should be done away with, as reservation is based on social and educational backwardness, and not on economic status.
72total visits,1visits today