Govt to consider raising marriage age for both boys and girls

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Chennai, Apr 21 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu government will seriously consider raising the minimum age for marriage of girls from 18 to 21 and that of boys from 21 to 25, Social Welfare Minister Poongothai told the State Assembly today.

Replying to the demand for grants for her department, she agreed to a suggestion made to this effect by Mr T Velmurugan (PMK) and said a policy level decision has to be taken on the issue.

''After holding discussions with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, a final decision will be taken on the issue,'' she added.

Raising the issue, Mr Velmurugan said though a girl could be considered as major if she is 18, medical experts said she could be physically fit for delivering a child only at the age of 21. He also wanted to raise the marriage age for boys from 21 to 25.

He, further said the Minister, being a doctor, was well aware of these facts and wanted the government to take immediate steps in this regard.

Ms Poongothai said a policy decision has to be taken both by the Central and State governments with regard to monitoring of funds received by NGOs from abroad.

When Mr Peter Alphonse (Congress) pointed out that the NGOs had received about Rs 500 crore alone as funds from abroad last year and whether government has any mechanism to blacklist such organisations if the funds were diverted for other purposes, the Minister said a committee has been formed to monitor the NGOs and that an official licence would be given to them only after they function in a proper way for three years.

Since monitoring of NGOs on using foreign funds had to be done jointly by the Centre and the state, a policy decision would be taken after consulting the Centre, she added.

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