Lucknow: As the we celebrate the world population day, Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government is all set to give, India’s most populous state, a new population policy for 2021-2030 on Sunday, which has been drafted to give incentives to those who help in population control and deterrents for those who doesn’t. To note, Uttar Pradesh has a population of around 220 million.
The population policy is being unveiled months ahead of the state elections, which are due for the state next year. The issue has emerged as one of the main focus areas in the state ahead of assembly polls.
As the move is suspected of having political colours, the opposition has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, saying it wants to “murder the democracy” in Uttar Pradesh.
Suggestions have been invited from the public to improve the draft bill and July 19 is the last date for it. 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.
Know what provisions of UP government’s population control bill offers:
-The 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.
-Listing the government’s duties, the draft bill says that maternity centres will be established at all primary health centres. The centres and NGOs will distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, etc, spread awareness about family planning methods through community health workers and ensure mandatory registration of pregnancies, deliveries, births and deaths across the state.
-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 will also be ensured in the policy, according to the state government.
-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 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 UP government also plans to set up a state population fund to implement the measures. The draft bill asks the state government to introduce population control as compulsory subject in all secondary schools.
-It also 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.