New Delhi: A parliamentary forum has sought a separate ministry for the welfare of OBCs and constitutional powers for the National Commission for Backward Classes.
In a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed by 85 MPs, the forum said OBCs constitute nearly 60 per cent of the population in the country, of which 50 per cent are living in poverty.
Presenting the memorandum to Modi, Congress member V Hanumantha Rao, who is the Convenor of the forum of OBC MPs, said since a Backward Class leader has become the Prime Minister the section has several expectations and hopes that their grievances will be looked into.
Noting that the NCBC has limited functions, the MPs said the Commission had adopted resolutions recommending to amend the NCBC Act to entrust it powers similar to that of national commissions for SC and ST.
In many departments and public sector undertakings, the rosters to be maintained by the department on recruitments has not been maintained properly and the backlog of vacancies of OBCs has also not been filled up, the petition claimed.
The forum also sought hiking the income ceiling from existing Rs 6 lakh to Rs 11 lakh for OBCs to avail reservation benefits and appointing an expert committee to examine the data collected in Socio-Economic Caste Census, 2011 to arrive at the state-wise socio-economic data for OBCs across the country.
Three Union Ministers Bandaru Dattatreya, Ram Kripal Yadav and Upendra Kushwaha were also present.