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Delay first baby, enjoy free honeymoon

Wait two years to have your first baby, and enjoy a paid second honeymoon. The “Honeymoon Package” is being introduced in Maharashtra’s Satara district, to help cut the district's population growth rate.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2007 04:40 IST

Wait two years to have your first baby, and enjoy a paid second honeymoon.

The “Honeymoon Package” is being introduced in Maharashtra’s Satara district, local health officer VH Mohite said on Friday.

Authorities are trying to coax couples, especially in poor families, to help cut the district's population growth rate, Mohite said.

A couple will get Rs 5,000 ($121; euro101) if they decide to have their first child after two years of marriage. If they hold off for another year, they will get Rs 7,500 ($182; euro152), he said.

Officials are promoting the plan as a chance for couples to use the cash toward a second honeymoon.

The program will be introduced on August 15 1 the Independence Day — in Satara, a district with nearly 3 million people, Mohite said. “Even if 20 percent couples enroll, it could delay the births of 5,000 babies,” he said.

Nearly 25,000 couples marry in the district annually and 85 percent of the women conceive in the first year, according to a district administration study.

In order to qualify for the reward program, a couple must register with a local health centre and attend counseling every quarter.

“We will tell them the importance of having only one child and the need for a good diet and education,” Mohite said. India, with nearly 1.1 billion people, is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2050.