The Delhi Cabinet on Monday gave the go-ahead to 5 per cent reservation for students from Other Backward Castes at all technical and higher education institutions run by the state government. The government also announced a 10 per cent cut in entertainment tax.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told mediapersons after the cabinet meeting that the reservation for OBC students would come into effect from this academic session. Dikshit said that the quota of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates would remain the same. "We will raise the overall number of seats by 10 per cent," Dikshit added. She said the government would also ensure that OBC candidates get their share of 27 per cent seats within five years of the decision being implemented.
Dikshit added that the government would introduce a specific Bill The Delhi Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission Bill), 2008 -- for this purpose in the legislative assembly. The 27 per cent OBC reservation would be implemented in phases and would be fully implemented by 2012-13. The reservation will be applicable in all diploma, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses.
The Cabinet has also decided to slash entertainment tax on cinemas, including theatres and multiplexes, from existing 30 per cent to 20 per cent.
Entertainment tax was last brought down from March 31, 2003 from 60 per cent to 30 per cent. According to officials, 80 per cent of the total entertainment tax collected from cinemas in Delhi was from the 17 multiplexes in the city. There are a total of 56 cinema halls in the city.
Entertainment tax from cinema sector is 17 per cent of the entertainment tax collections per annum. The collection of entertainment tax from cinemas has gone up from Rs 23.65 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 29.89 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 38.07 crore in 2007-08. Dikshit said a notification was being issued under the Delhi Entertainment and Betting Tax Act, 1996.