The BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh government is planning to bring a population control legislation, the draft of which was released in the public domain on Saturday, requesting suggestions from the public.
The proposed bill if passed to become an act will be called the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Act, 2021.
The draft bill lists a number of provisions termed as ‘incentives’ and ‘disincentive’ that will be given to legally married couples depending upon whether they follow the two-child norm or not. A state population fund will be constituted for the implementation of the proposed law.
What Happens if an Individual has More than Two Children?
After the enactment of the law, according to the draft, any individual with more than two children will not be able to avail of any government-funded welfare schemes, the ration card units will be limited up to four and they will be barred from contesting election to local bodies in the state. Such individuals shall be ineligible to apply for government jobs under the State Government, shall be ineligible to get promotion in government services or avail any kind of government subsidy.
In cases of a polygamous marriage, where the husband has more than one
wife, if the husband has more than two children from all his marital relationships, he stands in contravention of the two-child norm and therefore subject to the disincentives. The same clause applies in cases of polyandrous marriages.
Couples who have two children from the marriage and then choose to adopt a third child will not violate the law as long as the cumulative number is not above three whereas couples with no children from their marriage can adopt up to two children without violating the law.
What If a Couple Has Only Two Children?
Incentives such as soft housing loans, rebates on charges for utilities such as water, electricity, and house tax along with things will be given to those who adopt the two-child norm by undergoing voluntary sterilisation operation upon themselves or their spouse. Government employees adhering to this norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or paternity leave of 12 months with full salary and allowances and free health care facility and insurance coverage to the spouse.
What if an Individual Has One Child?
If a person has only one child and undergoes voluntary sterilisation, they will additionally get free health care facilities and free insurance coverage to the single child till they turn 20. Furthermore, preference to single child in admission in all educational institutions, including IIMs and AIIMS, free education up to graduation level, scholarship for higher studies in case of a girl child and preference to a single child in government jobs. Public servants who will follow the one-child norm will be eligible for four additional increments in all apart from the incentives promised to the general public doing the same.
For couples living below the poverty line and have only one child and undergo voluntary sterilisation operation upon themselves or spouse shall be eligible additionally for payment from the government for a one-time lump-sum amount of Rs 80,000 if the single child is a boy, and Rs 1 Lakh if the single child is a girl.
What are the Exceptions?
The draft bill mentions certain exceptional cases where a couple that has more than two children will not be considered in contravention with the law. They are:
- Multiple births in the second pregnancy.
- If either, or both, of their children born out of the earlier pregnancy, are disabled.
- If either, or both, of his children born out of the earlier pregnancy, dies and the couple conceives a third child subsequently.
- if an individual already has two children conceived from their marriage and conceives a third child within one year from the date of commencement of this Act.
Provided that in no case shall the total number of children of the couple under this section shall be more than three, except in cases where there have been multiple births.