On the eve of World Population Day, annually observed on July 11, apex industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested the Centre to adopt an incentive based population control strategy and create a nodal agency to oversee its implementation process.
“Engaging systematically identified government agencies and concerned stakeholders, harnessing private resources for creating well-equipped health facilities, systematic flow of information on population trends, monitoring and evaluating demographic change regularly, developing national communication strategies to ensure participation of unreached groups and regions in population control would be certain key functions performed by the nodal agency,” highlighted a study titled “Effective Population Control: India’s need of the hour,” conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
In its study, ASSOCHAM has also suggested the new government to set up a dedicated population control fund at every village level, besides adequate funding, promotional and motivational incentives must be given through legislation for families committed to small family norm. “The incentive based system must adequately take note of people’s aspirations and create confidence amid them that family planning would ensure meeting of those aspirations.”
Besides, ASSOCHAM has also suggested the new government to roll out a universal health insurance program thereby making free and qualified health and family planning services integral to health insurance.
Cultural factors, poverty and ignorance, besides, the traditional approach of treating children as an investment is leading to India’s high growth of population, noted the ASSOCHAM study. “A drop in population growth rate is necessary for a rise in people’s standard of living as India’s living beyond its means.”
“India needs to adopt a pragmatic, determined and result oriented population control strategy comprising four necessary steps viz., achieving political consensus, outlining an ideal strategy, creating a nodal authority and institutional capacities and supporting legislations or policies,” said ASSOCHAM president, Mr Rana Kapoor while releasing the chamber’s study.
“Unabated population growth and resultant process on distribution of endowed resources has been India’s major policy concern,” said the ASSOCHAM chief. “Sustained political commitment is a necessary condition for population control, besides rapid demographic transition must be identified as the primary objective of public policy by the political leadership at various levels.”
“Apart from political consensus, an effective and organized intervention strategy must also be put in place,” added the ASSOCHAM president. “Creating adequate capacities that meet the needs and aspirations of growing population remains as a key challenge for the nation, the focus has increasingly been turning towards addressing the equity aspects as India’s family planning efforts have been evaluated as partially successful.”