“The poor have the first right to resources,” said Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while presenting the interim budget in the Parliament today. The Union Government recently passed a law giving 10% reservation for economically weaker section of the society.
The bill amends the articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India, making provision for reservation for educational institutes and jobs respectively. This reservation will be added to the existing 50% reservation provided for people from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes. The economical backward has been defined as a family with an annual income below ₹8 lakhs, apart from clauses on landholding. The ₹8 lakh limit is at per with the existing limit for the creamy layer of OBCs.
Interestingly, in December 2006, former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Dr Manmohan Singh, while speaking on the UPA government’s plans for the minorities, had said that Muslims have the first claim on the resources. Prior to that, while speaking at the National Commission for Minorities, the former Prime Minister had even favoured ‘fair share for minorities’ in government as well as private jobs.
The BJP government, which has been speaking of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas‘ has taken many pro-poor steps, especially for rural India, during the 4-and-a-half years it has been in power. From ensuring 95% basic sanitation to almost 100% electrification, to providing gas connection millions of lives have changed drastically. Ayushman Bharat scheme, which is also pegged ‘Modi care’, is the world’s largest state-sponsored welfare scheme in the world.