Participating in a discussion on the Population Regulation Bill, 2019 – a private member’s bill proposed by Rakesh Sinha of the BJP, which aims to regulate the population by promoting a policy of two children per couple – Jairam Congress’s Ramesh and DMK’s Tiruchi Siva argued that states should not lose population-based central allocations.
Ramesh said that since the allocation of the Centre’s funds, made through Niti Aayog and the Finance Commission, is based on population, states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab, which have managed to control the population, are the losers. .
“We must not penalize the early pioneers of family planning… It was the states that showed India the way, but it is the states that will have fewer MPs, less resources, less fiscal decentralization” , he said.
Even though the demarcation was postponed until 2026, he said, “We have to bite the bullet. 2026 is only four years away now.”
Ramesh said the bill is based on a completely flawed assumption that India’s family planning program hasn’t worked.
“Except for the most unfortunate period of emergency,” he said, “family planning in India has been based on democratic means, by literacy for women, education for women, by provision of family planning services”.
Expressing similar views, Siva said, “I fear that states that implement family planning policy rightly, as it should, will be punished.”
He said the government of Tamil Nadu has successfully implemented the family planning policy and has been appreciated and applauded in every way.
However, he added, “Previously we had 41 parliamentary constituencies but now, after the 1971 demarcation, ours has been reduced to 39 because of the population because we have managed to implement a scheme which is the need of the hour, our state has been punished”.
Siva lamented that the share of funds from Tamil Nadu under the central schemes is reduced.
“Income tax on various headings is given to certain states where they say the population is larger and here we are victimized and deprived of what is truly due to us,” he said, adding that incentives must be given to successfully implement family planning. program.
AITC’s Jawhar Sircar expressed skepticism about the motive behind the bill.
“We hope it doesn’t target any community, as recent studies from the National Family Welfare Survey and others show that the total fertility rate has evened out.
“We’re reaching what’s called replacement fertility, which means we’re going to decrease the population,” he said.
He pointed out that educating women is the only tried and tested method of family planning.
“How much state coercion will you use? … The deprivation you seek to do is more of a punitive measure.”
CPI’s Binoy Viswam said the bill was designed to target a certain community.
“There is an element in this bill that is very dangerous. There is a hidden part. It says that a certain community, certain parts of the country where this community is in large numbers, is causing danger to the country” , did he declare. .
Earlier in the upper chamber, 15 private members’ bills were introduced. These included “The Right to Free Electricity Bill, 2022” presented by AAP’s Sanjay Singh.