Any person having more than two children in Uttar Pradesh after the enactment of a new law on population control would be barred from getting any government subsidy or the benefit of any government sponsored welfare scheme, cannot apply for a government job or contest election to any local body, the draft of the proposed law says.
The State Law Commission in UP has sought public comments by July 19 on the draft ‘UP Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021’ – a legislation that could have an far-reaching impact on the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh amidst a debate that the law is targeted at the Muslim population in the state.
A day after seeing a presentation on the draft law, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath could speak on it on Saturday.
The draft law says that whosoever is in contravention of two child norm after the commencement of the Act shall be debarred from benefit of all government sponsored welfare schemes, cannot contest election to local bodies, shall be ineligible to apply for government jobs under the state government, cannot get a promotion in a government job, his or her ration card would be limited to four members, and he or she shall be ineligible to receive any kind of government subsidy.
“It (the Bill) shall come into force after one year from the date of publication in the Gazette,” the draft law says. In case of polygamous marriages, each couple will be counted as one married couple for the purpose of calculation of cumulative number of children, the law says. “The personal law governing A allows polygamy. A has three wives B, C and D. A and B, A and C, and A and D shall be counted as three distinct married couple so far as the status of B, C and D is concerned but as far as the status of A is concerned, it shall be counted as one married couple for the purpose of calculation of cumulative number of children,” the draft says.
The draft law lists out a list of incentives and disincentives for promotion of the two-child norm in the state. The incentives would be extended to anyone who adopts two-child norm by undergoing voluntary sterilization operation upon himself or spouse. This will include soft loan for construction or purchasing a house on nominal rates of interest and rebate on charges for utilities such as water, electricity and house tax.
Further, those who have only one child and undergo voluntary sterilisation will additionally get free health care facility and insurance coverage to the single child till he attain the age of 20 years, preference to single child in admission in all education institutions, including IIMs and AIIMS, free education upto graduation level, scholarship for higher studies in case of a girl child and preference to single child in government jobs.
Government employees who adhere to the two-child norm will additionally 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 spouse. Employees sticking to 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.
Also, a couple living below the poverty line, having only one-child and undergo voluntary sterilization operation upon himself 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.
The draft says that every government employee under the State Government, having more than two children at the time of commencement of this Act, will have to furnish undertaking to the effect that they shall not act in contravention to the two-child norm.
“If any action of a government employee under the State Government, is found to be in violation of the undertaking given by him, he shall be dismissed from his employment with immediate effect and shall be debarred from applying in future for any government jobs under the State Government,” the proposed law says.
Some safeguards have also been built into the law in case of multiple births in a second pregnancy. “An action of an individual shall not be deemed to be in contravention of the two child norm if he or she having a child born out of the first pregnancy, subsequently have more than two children, as a result of multiple birth subsequently out of the second pregnancy,” the draft says. The law would also not apply to those who adopt a third child after having two children conceived from a marriage, or those whose one of the two children are disabled and they have a third child. If one or both of the children die, the couple conceiving a third child will not be considered a violation of the law.
It has also been specified that if a married couple already have two children, conceives a third child within one year from the date of commencement of this Act will not attract the provisions of the law.
“In UP, there are the limited resources ecological and economic resources at hand, it is necessary and urgent that the provision of the basic necessities of human life including affordable food, safe drinking water, decent housing, access to quality education, economic and livelihood opportunities, powery for domestic consumption, and a secure living is accessible to all citizen. It is necessary to control, stabilize the population of the State for promotion of sustainable development with more equitable distribution,” the preamble of the law says.
A State Population Fund will be created to implement the revised state population policy and ensure mandatory registration of pregnancy, deliveries, birth and death across the State. The government will also introduce a compulsory subject relating to population control in all secondary schools in the state.