‘10% quota doesn’t violate Constitution structure’

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley Friday on Friday said the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in government jobs and educational institutions does not contravene the basic structure of the Constitution and termed the move the single greatest recognition for the poor in the general category. In his Facebook blog, the finance minister accused the Congress of only paying “lip sympathy” and “grudgingly” supporting the Constitution (124
th Amendment) Bill, passed by Parliament earlier this week.

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Here is a look at some of the other key points from his blog —

* Poverty is a secular criteria. It cuts across communities and religions.

* Nor does the carve out amongst the general non-reserved categories for 10 percent of their poor in any way get restricted by the 50 percent reservation embargo placed by the Supreme Court.

* The Prime Minister’s decision to force an agenda for poverty based reservation is the single greatest recognition/ concern for poor across the general categories and the need to eliminate poverty.

* By 2022, every poor family will have a roof on its head.

* The universal health scheme – Ayushman Bharat – is targeted at 40% of India’s population who are at the lowest point of the economic ladder.

* The Government has expressed its intention to help the farmer by fixing the Minimum Support Price for the notified crops at 50% higher than cost

* For the India’s middle class, in the last five years, not a single tax has been increased.

* In every Budget, the lower end of the tax payers have got relief both directly and indirectly

* This is the first time that during the five year tenure of a Government a Rs.2 lakh crore annual tax rebate for both direct and indirect taxes is given to the middle class tax payer without a single tax being increased.
* The subsidy for housing for the middle class has been liberalised.

* Inflation during the five year tenure has been kept between 3-4% as against 10.4% during UPA-II.
* There is a method for economically empowering the poor. Their purchasing power has improved. This helps trade and businesses which impacts positively on the economy.

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