The Union Cabinet has deferred the decision to raise the income ceiling to avail of OBC quota benefits in jobs and education.
The ministry of social justice and empowerment's proposal to increase the ceiling from present Rs. 4.5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh could not be approved due to demand from a section of ministers to further raise the limit.
According to sources, a few OBC ministers opined the ceiling should be higher to widen the ambit.
Though the ceiling was raised from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh in 2008, many of the OBC vacancies were left unfilled in central educational institutions.
In another Cabinet decision, the government reached out to the students from SC and ST communities. Under a new scheme approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs, poor SC, ST students of classes IX and X will get a monthly scholarship of R350 (hostellers) and R150 (day scholars).
While the scholarship is payable for 10 months in an academic year, an annual sum of R750 for day scholars, R1,000 for hostellers would be given for books etc. To avail of the benefit, income of parents should be under R2 lakh per annum.
The CCEA also approved inclusion of 22 additional districts under the Backward Regions Grant Fund — presently catering to 250 districts.
It also included four new districts — Sitamarhi and West Champaran in Bihar and Chhindwara and Singrauli of Madhya Pradesh — under the Integrated Action Plan meant for naxal-hit districts.
The CCEA also approved a 16% hike in support price for paddy at R1,250 per quintal for kharif season. It raised the MSP for oil seeds and pulses by 37%. The CCEA deferred a decision on increasing retail prices of urea by 10%.