Days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar outright rejected any attempt by the Center to pass a population control law, the BJP ally believes the state must at least consider encouraging family planning.
Speaking to The Indian Express, BJP Bihar Unit Leader and MP for West Champaran, Sanjay Jaiswal said offering incentives to couples who have no more than two children could help control the population in the state.
According to 2011 census data, Bihar is the third most populous state in the country with a population of over 10 crore. It is also the most densely populated state in India.
Jaiswal said incentives to have fewer children could include 25kg of free rations per month, in addition to Ayushman health cards, all “regardless of the economic situation”.
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“Population is Bihar’s problem and not so much India’s. Ten years ago, Bihar’s fertility rate was 3.4 and it is now only 2.96. In comparison, the UP fell from 3.2 to 2.4% in 10 years,” he said.
He added: “Government should also arrange reservation (for the two children) in public schools where Bihar government can pay their school fees.”
When asked if he had discussed the idea with the CM, Jaiswal said, “We have been talking about it for some time. Forget the law, let there be incentives. If Bihar government can provide various incentives like post-Class 10, -Class 12 scholarships, Tuition and University fee waiver for girls till graduation, why is there no there any incentives to help control the population? »
Many BJP leaders such as Union Minister Giriraj Singh, State Minister Neeraj Singh Bablu and MP Haribhushan Thakur have often spoken of the need for a population control law.
On this, Jaiswal said, “It is their opinion. The party did not ask for it. What we want is a set of incentives to curb the population. Education and awareness are good, but incentives are also important.
Jaiswal, however, parried questions about the BJP’s counter-posture soon after the party backed a caste census in Bihar despite the Centre’s refusal to carry out a nationwide one.
“We don’t believe in postures and counter-postures, but we would talk about people issues,” he said.
Earlier this week, Nitish said a population control law would serve no purpose, but instead insist on education for girls and women, which he said would help bring down the fertility rate. .
“Nothing will happen just by making laws. Work should be done in such a way that it becomes part of nature. Everyone should see what happened after the enactment of the population control law in China,” he said.
Nitish was reacting to Union Minister Prahlad Patel’s comment that the Center was set to pass a law to control the population.