Friday, October 02, 2009

Social Stimulation Package

New govt of Japan is offering a financial package to encourage families to go for babies. US$ 300 per baby. Would this reverse the population trend? Now Japan has three adults supporting one old person. By 2050, it would be 1.6 adults supporting one old person. Japan has avoided opening up the country for immigrants lest they would dilute their cultural purity. Now they realize they have two generations to balance the equation.

I did think of the possibility of India Govt financially rewarding those who help in arrest of India's population growth. Rs 20K tax subsidy every couple who is childless and Rs 10K for those who just have one kid. They could add Tax surcharge for those who have more than one child. These surcharges could be on all necessities like gas, electricity, ration, bank loan and could be applicable for every sector - organized, unorganized, agricultural or service. Such thought often idealist is not easy to implement. Perhaps, ID card project would take one-step closer to any such realization.

A recent story about widow pension package made me feel how naive I could have been while thinking about this innovative way to discourage population growth. This widow pension scheme launched by UP govt is now a source of millions dollar corruption scam. Thousands and thousands of women getting the benefit of Rs 300 per month are happily married. In some villages, records shows widowed women form the bulk of female population. Village sarpunch who issues attestations , political elected representative who secures the funds , bureaucrat who disburses the funds form a well knit chain that join forces with policy makers who enhances the 'widow budget' year after year.

If my above idea ever to be implemented, India would have more orphaned kids, matching widows on their demographics.



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