People with more than two children might soon be punished. A bill seeking punishment for such people has been tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai introduced a private member's bill in the upper house.
Desai has proposed that the Constitution of India be amended to introduce a new provision, Article 47A.
The bill proposes incentives to promote limiting the number of children to two per family.
The Bill seeks to punish families with more than two children. Punishment proposed is depriving them of social welfare benefits, tax exemptions etc.
The introduction to the Bill states:
"Today, there is also a need to encourage the people to keep small family by offering tax concessions priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions etc. and at the same time discourage them from producing more children by withdrawing tax concessions imposing heavy taxes and by making other punitive provisions for violations.
Therefore, the Bill seeks to amend the Constitution with a view to make a provision by the State to discourage the people from increasing their family and limit it to two children."
The two-child norm is already there in the Panchayati Raj Act. The Supreme Court has upheld the provision in several states.
It debars women with more than two children from contesting and holding panchayat posts. The new bill reflects that the government believes more in punishment than in eradicating unawareness.
Since the bill has been tabled, there have been strong reactions from the opposition.
According to researcher V Sirnate, the bill clearly threatens to punish people.
V Sirnate @vsirnate tweeted, “We have had an informal two-child policy for many years. But this one is basically saying that people with more than two kids will be punished through tax concession withdrawals and extra taxation.”