A cabinet sub-committee in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Chhattisgarh has recommended raising the combined reservation limit for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) to 71 percent from 50 percent.
'The sub-committee recently submitted its report to Chief Minister Raman Singh recommending that the reservation limit for the ST be raised to 32 percent from the existing 18-20 percent,' a minister who was a member of the panel headed by Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar told IANS Tuesday.
'The panel also suggested that the reservation for SC be reduced to 12 percent from the existing 16 percent,' he said on condition of anonymity.
He said the recommendation to increase the reservation limit for ST and decrease that for SC was made in view of the population percentage of these categories. The ST form nearly 32 percent and the SC some 12 percent of the state's estimated 20.08 million population.
The minister said the sub-committee had also recommended raising the reservation limit for the OBC to 27 percent from the existing 14 percent. The OBC form close to 50 percent of the population.
The existing reservation criteria was fixed before the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. Several organisations representing tribals had held rallies demanding a hike in the reservation limit for them.
The General Administration department will study the sub-committee's recommendations which will later be taken up by the cabinet, probably the next month, a government source said.