10% quota for poor in general category: Lok Sabha passes bill

The quota can be availed by people with incomes lower than Rs 8 lakh an annum and who own less than 5 acres of land. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 10.19 PM (IST)

The government's bill providing for a 10% quota for the poor among the general category has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 

The bill was passed by a vote of 323 ayes versus only 3 nays. 

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The 10% quota can be availed by people in the general category — that is everybody other than the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and the other backward classes — whose incomes are lower than Rs 8 lakh an annum and who own less than five acres of land. The quota is for government jobs and educational institutions. 

The 10% quota however will take the current reservations offered by the central government above the 50% cap ordered by the Supreme Court. 

In the Lok Sabha debate on the bill on Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the 10% quota would not fall foul of the Supreme Court order since the court's 50% cap on quotas was for caste-based reservations, while the government's quota was for the poor. 

After the bill was passed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that the passage of the "Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha is a landmark moment in our nation’s history."  

He added that his government was "resolutely committed to the principle of sabka saath, sabka vikas. 

"It is our endeavour to ensure that every poor person, irrespective of caste or creed gets to lead a life of dignity, and gets access to all possible opportunities."

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The bill still has to be passed by the Rajya Sabha.

And it remains to be seen whether it will be challenged in the courts.