Private member’s Bill calls for two-child normhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/private-members-bill-two-child-norm-population-regulation-rakesh-sinha-5827145/

Private member’s Bill calls for two-child norm

The Population Regulation Bill, 2019, introduced by Rakesh Sinha in the Upper House, suggests that people with more than two living children should be “disqualified” from being chosen as an MP, MLA or a member of any body of the local self government after the commencement of the Act.

two-child norm, The Population Regulation Bill, private member's bill, Rakesh Sinha, population bill,  rajya sabha, monsoon session
Rakesh Sinha (second from right) with RJD member Manoj Jha. (Anil Sharma)

A nominated MP aligned with the ruling BJP on Friday introduced a private member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha, seeking to enforce a two-child norm by giving incentives for those adopting the small family practice and penalties for those contravening it.

The Population Regulation Bill, 2019, introduced by Rakesh Sinha in the Upper House, suggests that people with more than two living children should be “disqualified” from being chosen as an MP, MLA or a member of any body of the local self government after the commencement of the Act. Similarly, it suggests that government employees should give an undertaking that she or he will not procreate more than two children. It says those government employees who have more than two children on or before the commencement of the Act should be exempted.

Other penalties include reduction in subsidies on loans and interest rates on savings instruments, reduction in benefits under the public distribution system, and higher than normal interest rates for availing loans from banks and financial institutions.

Talking to The Indian Express, Sinha said his private member’s Bill was not aimed at any religion, caste or community. He said according to UN population projections, India is expected to become the most populated country by 2050. “(The Bill) is intended to create a balance between people and the resources, human resources as well as natural resources,” he said.

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Sinha said that 72 districts in the country have a total fertility rate of more than four children per woman, and among them, “there are many districts which are dominated by minorities”. He added, “There is also a case of regional imbalance….while the southern and western states are better off, in the northern and eastern states of India, birth control is either not accepted or not applied. So it is a multi-dimensional problem. Regional, resources, religion – all three factors are there.”

The provisions of the Bill also list out several benefits for Central and public sector enterprise employees who adopt the two-child norm “by undergoing sterilization operation himself or of the spouse”.