The Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBC) has recommended that the creamy layer criteria should be subject to an upward revision in view of the fact that the 27 per cent reserved seats for OBC are never entirely filled.
The parliamentary panel led by BJP MP Ganesh Singh submitted the report on ‘Rationalisation of Creamy Layer in employment for OBCs in services and posts under the control of Government of India’ to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on March 9. The panel has a total of thirteen recommendations. Among the most significant is its recommendation to relax the creamy layer — the upper income ceiling/ criteria that exempts the relatively well-off members of OBC community from availing reserved seats in government jobs and higher education institutions.
It has based this recommendation on data received from 78 Ministries/ Departments regarding representation of OBCs in posts and services of central government. As per the data, OBC representation there is merely 21 per cent with it being the lowest among group A employees — 13 per cent.
The panel has noted, “This leads to the inference and also apprehension that when stringent conditions or restrictions are imposed for determining the creamy layer, the objective of the government to fill up 27 per cent of the vacancies by OBCs may not be achieved… Therefore, policy decisions should not prescribe unusually rigid income limits because such restrictions have the effect of taking away with one hand what is given with the other.” The panel has recommended a more “realistic” economic criteria that reflects GDP trend, inflation, per capita income, rise in cost of living and other factors.