On February 7th, Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai floated a private bill in Rajya Sabha, with an aim to introduce a directive principle in the constitution as regards population control measures.
The bill seeks to amend the Constitution with a view to introducing Article 47A which states:
“47A. The State shall promote small family norms by offering incentives in taxes, employment, education etc. to its people who keep their family limited to two children and shall withdraw every concession from and deprive such incentives to those not adhering to the small family norm, to keep the growing population under control.”
The bill intends to amend the constitution to enable the states to make a provision to discourage people from increasing their family or to have less number of children in their families and to encourage them to keep small families, limited to only two children.
People may be encouraged to keep small families by offering tax concessions, priority in social benefit schemes, etc. and maybe discouraged from having more children by withdrawing tax concessions or imposing heavy taxes, etc.
Indian population is increasing at a very fast pace. India is one of the countries with the highest rate of population growth. Though we have a National population control policy, we are the second-most populous country in the world. The natural resources of the country are already overburdened. Population explosion can have adverse effects on the future generation. This bill has been introduced realizing the great need to keep a strong check on the increasing population of India.
A private member is a Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a Union Cabinet Minister. When bills are introduced by such members, they are referred to as private Member’s bills. Every Friday, the afternoon sessions are kept for introducing such private member bills. According to research conducted by PPRS Legislative Research (PRS), there are only 14 private bills which have been passed as laws in the country since independence. No private member bill has been passed since 1970.