Uttar Pradesh govt releases new population policy: All you need to know
On World Population Day, Uttar Pradesh government announced a new population policy for 2021-2030 on Sunday. The new policy has provisions to give incentives to those who help in population control.
The population policy was unveiled ahead of the elections in the state next year. The issue has emerged as one of the main focus areas in the state ahead of assembly polls.
The opposition has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, saying it wants to "murder the democracy" in Uttar Pradesh.
A draft bill on population control has already been uploaded on UP government's website, and suggestions invited till July 19. If enacted, the provisions of the proposed legislation titled The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021 will come into force after one year from the date of publication in the gazette.
Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state with a population of around 220 million.
Here are the main provisions of UP government's move to control the state's population:
- The population policy announced today by the chief minister will focus on efforts to increase the accessibility of contraceptive measures issued under the Family Planning Programme and provide a proper system for safe abortion.
- Another focus area of the new population policy is to reduce the newborns' and maternal mortality rate.
- Care of the elderly, and better management of education, health, and nutrition of adolescents between 11 to 19 years has also been ensured in the policy, according to the state government.
- The Uttar Pradesh government will give promotions, increments, concessions in housing schemes and others perks to employees who adhere to population control norms, and have two or less children.
- "Public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three percent increase in the employer's contribution fund under the National Pension Scheme," according to UP government's draft population control bill.
- For those who are not government employees and still contribute towards keeping the population in check, will get benefits in like rebates in taxes on water, housing, home loans etc.
- If the parent of a child opts for vasectomy, he/she will be eligible for free medical facilities till the age of 20.
- The Uttar Pradesh government plans to set up a state population fund to implement the measures. The draft bill also asks the state government to introduce population control as compulsory subject in all secondary schools.
- It cites strain on resources due to growing population as the need to have a population control policy in place. "It is necessary and urgent that the provision of basic necessities of human life including affordable food, safe drinking water, decent housing, access to quality education, economic/livelihood opportunities, power/electricity for domestic consumption, and a secure living is accessible to all citizens," the draft bill reads.
- The provision of this legislation shall apply to a married couple where the boy is not less than 21 years of age and the girl is not less than 18. The UP law commission, which has prepared the draft bill, said that the policy will be voluntary - it will not be enforced upon anyone.