Anil Desai, a Rajya Sabha MP from the Shiv Sena, has moved a private member’s bill proposing the introduction of incentives to promote limiting the number of children to two per family.
Desai moved the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 proposing to insert Article 47A into the Constitution of India to incentivise people who keep their family limited to two children and seeks to withdraw every concession from people who fail to adhere to the small family norm.
“47A. The State shall promote small family norms by offering incentives in taxes, employment, education etc. to its people who keep their family limited to two children and shall withdraw every concession from and deprive such incentives to those not adhering to small family norm, to keep the growing population under control,” the new article 47A proposed by Shiv Sena MP reads.
Citing the population growth in India as the reason for proposing the amendment, Desai’s bill said, “The fact that the population of India has already crossed over 125 crores is really frightening. The country has doubled its population in just forty years and is expected to unseat China as the world’s most populated country in the next couple of decades, by the year 2050.”
“As per the UN report, India, Nigeria and Pakistan are the countries which have the highest rate of growth of population. India’s current yearly growth rate is 1.02 per cent. The country as a whole has a population density of 416 people per square kilometre, which ranks 31st in the World. Despite the fact that we have framed a National Population Control Policy, we are the second-most populous country in the world,” the bill reads.
The bill further states , “Population explosion will cause many problems for our future generations. We have to be concerned about the population explosion. The Centre, as well as State Governments, should launch schemes to tackle it. Our natural resources are extremely overburdened. The rate of growth of any country is directly related to the size of its population.”
“Natural resources like air, water, land, woods etc. are subjected to overexploitation because of overpopulation. Today, there is a greater need to keep a strong check on the increase of our population.”
The Shiv Sena MP called for encouraging people to keep the family small by offering tax concessions, priority in social benefit schemes, and school admissions. “Today, there is a greater need to keep a strong check on the increase of our population,” said Shiv Sena MP.
He also suggests that measures may be introduced to discourage people from having more children, by withdrawing tax concessions, imposing heavy taxes, and by making other punitive provisions for violations.
This isn’t the first time that a population control measure is being demanded through a legislative change. In 2016, BJP MP Prahlad Singh Patel had also tabled a private member bill on population control. However, it did not reach the stage of voting.
In July 2019, another BJP MP, Rakesh Sinha, tabled the Population Regulation Bill in the Rajya Sabha as a private member bill, which proposed to penalise people for having more than two children.