In a major development, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday expanded the ambit of ‘creamy layer’ in OBC reservations to include certain posts in PSUs and public sector financial institutions. Last week, the income limit defining ‘creamy layer’ in government jobs for OBC reservation was raised to Rs 8 lakh per annum from Rs 6 lakh. Now, the same definition of ‘creamy layer’ would apply to PSUs public sector financial institutions also in OBC reservations.
“This will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservations, on par with children of people serving in lower categories in government,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The cabinet also approved excluding ‘socially advanced persons/sections’ from the purview of reservation under Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, thus barring these officials and their kin from claiming reservation benefits under the OBC category.
Jaitley said that the decision was taken for establishing equivalence of posts and that “it would prevent children of those in senior positions in such institutions, who, owing to absence of equivalence of posts, may have been treated as non-creamy layer...from cornering government posts reserved for OBCs and denying the genuine non-creamy layer candidates a level playing field.”
The decision appears to be a politically motivated move as it comes ahead of assembly elections in 10 states. The decision is also significant as it comes almost 24 years after a 1993 office order of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) provided for 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in government vacancies and laid down criteria for defining ‘creamy layer’.
That order merely said the criterion enumerated for Group A and Group B posts would apply to officers “holding equivalent and comparable posts” in the PSUs, banks and financial institutions.
The cabinet has stated that in PSUs, all executive level posts - board-level executives and managerial-level posts -- would be treated as equivalent to group ‘A’ posts in the government and will be considered ‘creamy layer’. Junior management grade scale–1 and above of public sector banks, financial institutions and public sector insurance corporations will be treated as equivalent to group ‘A’ in the government and considered as ‘creamy layer’, it added.
For clerks and peons in PSBs, financial institutions and public sector insurance corporations, the income test as revised from time to time will be applicable.
“These are broad guidelines and each individual bank, PSU, insurance company would place the matter before their respective board to identify individual posts,” an official statement stated.