NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP
has moved a private member’s bill proposing incentives to promote a two-child norm, a proposal that is likely to be discussed when Parliament meets for the second half of the Budget session.
Private member’s bills rarely proceed beyond discussion and it is unclear how Sena’s new allies Congress and NCP will view the subject of Desai’s bill and might be tempted to see the move in political terms as being intended to target Muslims more than other sections of the population.
Desai has proposed that the Constitution be amended to introduce a new provision incentivising those adhering to a two-child norm. The MP told TOI that he had the consent of Maharashtra CM and party chief Uddhav Thackeray to introduce the bill in the upper House.
However, he reiterated that the bill was in a “nascent stage” and there was no question of going against the will of allies as the proposal was about incentives to adherents and no forceful compliance was suggested in the bill. The bill, though, calls for withdrawal of benefits to those who violate the norm.
“This is just an idea which I shared with party chief Uddhav Thackerayji. He was okay with the idea. However, there is no point of difference with the alliance partners as the bill has been just introduced,” Desai said.
He said the bill was framed keeping in view the population explosion, which required a national policy and should be implemented in view of the demographic changes in the country. “There is a constitutional provision and law should be regulated in its compliance. Some kind of legislation should be introduced to bring a proper law,” he said
Desai has proposed in the bill that the Constitution be amended to introduce a new provision – Article 47A – which will read as follows: “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 small family norm, to keep the growing population under control. ”
Desai said, “We have to be concerned about population explosion. Our natural resources are extremely over-burdened. The rate of growth of a country is directly related to the size of its population.”
Population control has been a key agenda of BJP, which has been endorsed by RSS as its chief Mohan Bhagwat recently insisted on measures to control population growth.