Saturday, October 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Quota for economically poor okayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
In what can be described as election-oriented decisions, the government today not only approved the amendment to the Constitution for bringing about reservation for economically backward classes, but also decided to give further sops to sugarcane farmers in non-sugarcane producing states.

The Union Cabinet, which met here this evening under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also decided to set up National Tax Tribunal under Article 323 of the Constitution to reduce the burden on the High Court.

Twenty-five Benches are proposed to be set up under the National Tax Tribunal at a cost of Rs 7.88 crore.

In a significant decision, the government decided that amendments should be brought about in Clause 4 of Article 15 and Clause 4 of Article 16 to include reservation to the economically backward classes and another amendment to enable states to provide more than 50 per cent reservation in services by introducing a suitable clause under Article 16 of the Constitution.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a commission to study and recommend reservation for those belonging to backward classes and elicit the views of state governments and union territories.

The panel, which would have a one-year tenure, would recommend the quantum of reservation, suggest criteria for identification of EBCs and present a report to the President.

The Cabinet also decided to give a six-month extension to the Nanawati Commission probing the 1984 Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told mediapersons after the meeting.

The government also decided to approach the Supreme Court for clarification of certain aspects of the judgement halting privatisation of two oil PSUs, HPCL and BPCL.


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