New Delhi: A Bill looking to punish people for having more than two children was recently tabled in the Rajya Sabha. This private member's Bill was introduced in the Upper House by Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai.
Apart from proposing incentives to encourage each family to limit the number of children to two, the Bill seeks to punish families having more than two children by depriving them of social welfare benefits, tax exemptions etc.
Desai has also proposed to amend the Constitution of India to introduce a new provision, Article 47A.
"Today, there is also a need to encourage the people to keep small family by offering tax concessions priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions etc. and at the same time discourage them from producing more children by withdrawing tax concessions imposing heavy taxes and by making other punitive provisions for violations.
Therefore, the Bill seeks to amend the Constitution with a view to make a provision by the State to discourage the people from increasing their family and limit it to two children," the introduction to the bill states, according to a report by the National Herald.
This norm is already present in the Panchayati Raj Act and has even been upheld by the Supreme Court in several states.
According to the provision in the Panchayati Raj Act, women with more than two children are debarred from contesting and holding panchayat posts.
Desai's Bill, according to the National Herald, shows that the government believes more in punishment than in spreading awareness about family planning.
The Bill has seen strong reactions from the Opposition as well as some members of the general public.
Researcher V Sirnate tweeted in response to the news, “We have had an informal two-child policy for many years. But this one is basically saying that people with more than two kids will be punished through tax concession withdrawals and extra taxation.”
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