(Image source from: zeebiz.com)
The government of India may rule regarding the consideration of salary as a part of the gross income as a proposal for a major change in the concept of creamy layer for the OBCs. It might be suggested that salary should be considered as a part of gross income in order to decide the eligibility of availing Mandal reservations in public employment and education by the individual who belongs to a backward class.
Inclusion of salary for the calculation of creamy layer for the OBCs has been decided as per the recommendations of an expert committee, as said by the top sources in the ministry of social justice and empowerment. It has been said that the proposal to this effect would be likely moved for being considered by the government of India.
If the move that has been proposed would be implemented, the bar to qualify for the benefits of the 27 per cent quota would a show a significant rise as more are likely to get excluded as creamy layer.
A ‘creamy layer’ tends to be a cut-off which rules an individual who belongs to OBC as affluent.
As per the guiding 1993 Office Memorandum on the creamy layer, it has been said that the salary and agricultural income would not get included in the gross income and that the gross income would only comprise of income from other sources. Qualifying an individual belonging to OBC as affluent would be easier if the salary is factored.
Although it had seemed to be clear in the Office Memorandum, the confusion has arose after the Centre has started including the salary in case of the individuals who belonged to OBC and who are from the PSU backgrounds while it has continued to exclude for the ones who are working in the state and central governments, over the last six years.
The disqualification from the quota in case of the first category has been lowered and had therefore triggered the court battles. The practice of discriminatory has been termed by the Madras and Delhi High Courts and has also asked the Centre to remedy the situation that would be in favour of OBCs from the PSU backgrounds.
An expert committee has been appointed in the month of March during the last year for resolving the situation. The panel has made suggestions that the Income Tax Act can be made benchmark for calculating the cut- off the creamy layer for all the OBCs across the board.
The Income Tax Act excludes agricultural income but it includes salary and other sources.
The sources has said that it has also been decided by the social justice ministry to review the income ceiling for the creamy layer, as it is said to be done mandatorily for every three years and that it had been made into effect in the year of 2017.
However, there has been no decision taken regarding the issue but it has been said that there could be an increase in the income ceiling from the current income ceiling which is said to be from Rs 8 lakh per annum to above Rs 11 lakh.
By Shrithika Kushangi