THE CHAIRMAN of the Parliamentary panel on OBC welfare, BJP MP Ganesh Singh, has written to other OBC MPs in the party asking them to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah through “messages, tweets” to not include salary and agriculture income while calculating annual family income to decide the creamy layer.
Singh’s letter comes at a time when the National Commission on Other Backward Classes (NCBC) is yet to finalise its views on the Centre’s proposal to raise the income limit of the creamy layer and include salary as a criteria.
In a letter dated July 5 to 112 OBC MPs of both Houses, excluding Modi, Singh wrote that his Parliamentary Committee had recommended that the creamy layer limit be increased to Rs 15 lakh. He wrote that the government is “considering” a “consensus on Rs 12 lakh but salary and agriculture income is also being added in the gross annual income, which is wrong”.
Presently, the income limit for the OBC creamy layer is Rs 8 lakh per annum, and decided on rank for government employees and not on salary.
The letter, written in Hindi, states: “Pradhanmantri ji aur Grihmantri ji se agrah hai ki vetan aur krishi se huyi aay ko sakal varshik aay ki ganana karte samay na joda jaaye. Aisa sandesh, message, tweet bhejne ka kasht karen (The Prime Minister and Home Minister are requested to not include salary and agriculture income while calculating gross annual income, please send such messages and tweets).”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Singh, who represents Satna in MP, said: “There is nothing wrong in writing to MPs of my party. We are worried that if the government’s proposal to include salary is accepted, the representation of OBCs in government ranks will shrink further.”
Sources told The Indian Express that a draft Cabinet note — which states that the creamy layer will be determined on all income, including salary calculated for Income Tax, but not agriculture income — was forwarded to the NCBC by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on March 12.
While the draft excludes agriculture income, sources said that among the five members of the NCBC, which enjoys Constitutional status, four are against any possible move to include salary — and agriculture income at any later stage.
When contacted, NCBC chairman Bhagwan Lal Sahni said: “We are discussing the proposal in the Cabinet note. We will finalise and send our views to the government in a week.”
For government employees, their children are considered to be in the creamy layer if either of the parents are directly recruited in Group-A or if both are in Group-B. They will also be considered if their parents enter Group-A through promotion before the age of 40.
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