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Minister: Rs8L income cap for quota not final

January 11, 2019 05:54 AM

COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA JAN 11Minister: Rs8L income cap for quota not final

New Delhi:

The Rs 8-lakh income and five-acre land criteria for beneficiaries under the 10% quota for the “poor among forwards” passed by Parliament on Wednesday is not final and is likely to change as the rules are framed, social justice and empowerment minister Thaawarchand Gehlot has said.

Asked whether the Rs 8-lakh income limit was too generous, Gehlot told TOI, “This measure of Rs 8 lakh and that of five-acre land holding and other such criteria are under consideration. This is not final. Ye thoda bahut kam, zyada ho sakta hai (This can be a little more or less).”

While the ministry is expected to draw the rules in about a week, the government has also asked the states to prepare their own criteria for exclusion. This will be applicable to jobs and education that fall under the purview of the states. “We will, over time, see how the states frame the rules. These can also be taken into consideration,” Gehlot said.

NGO moves SC to nix bill, but backs quota
NGO Youth for Equality filed a PIL in the SC on Thursday seeking quashing of the legislation alleging that it violated the basic structure of the Constitution. However, subsequently, NGO president Kaushal Kant Mishra said that “in principle, it (quota for poor) is a welcome step”.

‘There is no reference to income limit in bill’

The minister said the reference to the Rs 8 lakh annual household income and size of land holding was drawn from existing parameters for the creamy layer among OBCs when the constitutional amendment to include economic deprivation as a ground for reservation was being considered. “There is no reference to an income limit or land holding in the bill,” he said.

The minister responded to reports that as the government, in an answer to a parliamentary question as recently as January 8, had said there are no plans for a reservation for the upper caste poor. “It takes a few weeks to prepare an answer before it is tabled in Parliament. How can anything be confirmed unless it is final,” he said.

Clauses 4 and 5 in Article 15 of the Constitution had posed the hurdle to reservation for the less well-off among castes not covered by Dalit, tribal and OBC quotas. “Clause 6 now makes it possible to provide such reservation,” Gehlot said. He countered questions posed by the opposition whether the Centre has a list of likely beneficiaries, saying: “This will now be decided and will be the basis for issuance of eligibility certificates.”

The minister said the measures that the ministry will consider will take into account current indicators of income and poverty. The Census of 2011 gives a broad measure of the percentage of non-reserved sections in the population but it is the rules that are now framed that will decide the exclusion

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