On World Population Day, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath Sunday released the state's new population policy, which aims to reduce its growth rate to 2.1 percent over next 10 years.
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, has a population of around 220 million.
The population policy was unveiled ahead of the Assembly polls in the state due next year.
A draft bill on population control has already been uploaded on the state law commission website, and suggestions will be invited till 19 July. If enacted, the provisions of the proposed legislation entitled "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.
विश्व जनसंख्या दिवस के अवसर पर... https://t.co/8JRLgrOUSu
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) July 11, 2021
What Adityanath said
Unveiling the Uttar Pradesh Population Policy 2021-2030, Adityanath said, "Across the world, from time to time, concerns have been expressed that increasing population can be a hurdle in development, and for the past four decades discussions on it are going on."
"The countries and states which have made efforts in this direction have seen positive results. However, more efforts are needed in this regard," he said, adding that the state government was implementing this policy keeping in mind all sections of the society.
The draft of the population control bill says it is necessary to control and stabilise the population of the state for the promotion of sustainable development with more equitable distribution.
Provisions of UP government's move:
- The state population policy 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
- Focus area to include reducing 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 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
Beneficiaries of two-child policy
- The state 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 government's draft population control bill
- Those who aren't government employees and still adhere to two-child policy will get benefits in 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
- It also states that maternity centres will be set up at all primary health centres
- "The centres and NGOs will distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, spread awareness about family planning methods through community health workers and ensure mandatory registration of pregnancies, deliveries, births and deaths across the state," it read
- In Uttar Pradesh, there are limited ecological and economic resources at hand. 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 said
- The bill said that it is necessary to ensure healthy birth spacing through measures related to augmenting the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality reproductive health services to achieve the goal of population control, stabilisation and its welfare in the state
Who will not benefit from law
According to the draft bill, people having more than two children in Uttar Pradesh will be debarred from benefits of all government-sponsored welfare schemes, cannot contest local polls, shall be ineligible to apply for government jobs under the state or receiving any kind of subsidy, cannot get a promotion in a government job and his or her ration card would be limited to four members.
How will the state implement measures
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 read.
"Increasing population can be a hurdle in way of development. Every community has been taken care of in Population Policy 2021-2030," Adityanath said.
He also said that population control is directly connected with awareness among masses and poverty.
Jai Pratap Singh, the state's health minister, said that Uttar Pradesh is aiming for stability by 2050. He also said with the new policy, the aim is to bring down the population growth rate to 2.1 percent.
Earlier, the chief minister had said that rising population is the root cause of major problems including inequality. He also encouraged people to spread awareness about the problems arising out of an increasing population.
With inputs from agencies