More young people from the other backward classes (OBCs) will be entitled to quota in jobs and education in government institutes with the Centre set to relax the creamy layer bar.
The cabinet will Thursday consider a proposal to raise the bar to annual income of Rs. 6 lakh from the present Rs. 4.5 lakh. The creamy layer bars the affluent among OBCs from reservation benefit on the basis of family income.
The move is aimed at striking parity between increase in income (such as the 6th Pay Commission for central government employees), cost of living and scope of reservation.
But ahead of elections 2014, it has the potential to act as a sop for the vast vote-bank of OBCs, who make up 41% of India's population.
Raising the bar to Rs. 6 lakh would allow more OBCs to avail of the 27% quota in jobs and education.
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) had initially recommended raising the bar to Rs. 12 lakh in urban and Rs. 9 lakh in rural areas.
But due to sharp differences between ministers at an earlier cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed a group of ministers (GoM) led by finance minister P Chidambaram to give further recommendations.
The GoM prescribed a uniform ceiling of Rs. 6 lakh.
The creamy layer ceiling was introduced in 1993 at Rs. 1 lakh and subsequently revised to Rs. 4.50 lakh in 2008.
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