The government of Uttar Pradesh proposed a population control bill that will focus on revitalising efforts for measures to control, stabilise and provide welfare to the population of the state.
The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission introduced a population control bill on the occasion of World Population Day.
The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill promises perks and incentives to government employees and the general public who follow the control measures.
This bill enlists numerous incentives for those limiting their families to two children. Disincentives on non-adherence to the two-child norm have also been laid in the draft.
The draft states that it is necessary to control and stabilise the state’s population to promote sustainable development with more equitable distribution.
Chief Minister’s Address
“Let us, on this ‘World Population Day, pledge to make ourselves and the society aware of the problems arising from the rising population,” Adityanath said in a statement.
On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed the public on the new bill and said, “Increasing population can be a huge hurdle in the way of development. Every community has been taken care of in Population Policy 2021-2030.”
The Chief Minister said that “the ministry raised concerns from time to time on the increasing population and hindrance to the development.
The matter of population control has been discussed many times over the last four decades. Meanwhile, the countries or states that made efforts on population control have also seen positive results.
Similarly, More efforts are needed for population control in UP. The role of awareness in this matter is significant.”
In the Details of The Two-Child Policy
This Act applies to a married couple where the boy is not less than twenty-one years, and the girl is not below the age of eighteen.
The two-child population control policy will be voluntary, and if a person voluntarily keeps the number of his family members limited, they will be eligible for government schemes.
The draft bill states that the government authority will establish maternity centres at all the primary health care centres.
The centres and NGOs will distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, etc., spread awareness about the family planning schemes through community health workers and ensure mandatory registration of pregnancies, deliveries, births, and deaths statistics.
The draft bill also states that the government will also introduce a compulsory subject relating to population control in all secondary schools.
Incentives For The Followers
Anyone who adopts the two-child norm by undergoing voluntary sterilisation upon himself or their spouse will get benefits. They include a soft housing loan, rebate on charges for utilities such as water, electricity, and house tax, among other perks.
Government employees who will adhere to the two-child norm will be eligible for two additional increments during their entire service.
They will also get maternity or paternity leave of 12 months with full salary and allowances and accessible health care facility and insurance coverage for the spouse.
Those who have one child and undergo voluntary sterilisation will get accessible health care facilities and free insurance coverage to the single child till they turn 20 years old.
They will be subjected to preference to a single child in admissions in all educational institutions, including IIMs and AIIMS, free education up to the level of graduation, scholarships for higher studies in case of a girl child.
Public servants who will stick to the one-child norm will be eligible for four additional increments apart from the incentives promised to the general public doing the same.
This draft law says that any couple having more than two children in Uttar Pradesh, after enacting the law, shall be debarred from benefits of all government-sponsored welfare schemes.
They cannot contest elections to local bodies, shall be ineligible to apply for government jobs under the state government, and cannot get a promotion in a government job.
The government would limit their ration card to four members, and they shall be ineligible to receive any government subsidy.
Criticism from the Opposition
Priyanka Gupta, the Media panellist of UP Congress, criticised the UP government and said they intended to divert the people’s attention from the severe issue of unemployment by bringing this policy.
Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Shaqfiqur Rahman Barq lashed out at the policy and said, “It (draft bill) is electoral propaganda. They (BJP) want to win elections and do not decide in the people’s interest.
Despite the criticisms and speculations, the government is preparing for the full-fledged implementation of this policy. The state Health Minister, Jai Pratap Singh, said that UP has a population of 23.40 crore. The new population policy aims to decrease the gross fertility rate from 2.7 to 2.1 by 2026 and 1.9 by 2030. It aims at coming to stability by 2050.