Bring back incentives, disincentives to check population: Kurien

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (UNI) Prof P J Kurien, senior member of the ruling Congress in the Rajya Sabha today demanded effective measures to control population, saying all development would come to naught if the number of people continue to grow at the present rate.

''Bring back incentives and disincentives to control polulation,' Prof Kurien said resuming debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.

He said the Address mentioned growth of 8.9 per cent with great satisfaction but it failed to take note of the growing population and lacked any concern to check it.

''We all talk of millennium development goals but we do not realise that without any check on the growing numbers, all efforts for development would be rendered meaningless,'' he said.

Prof Kurien said it was very unfortunate that all incentives and disincentives for population control had been scrapped. He, however, said he did not mean to say that coercive measures should be taken.

Today everybody talked of China's growth, but no one mentioned that the country took rigorous measures to check its population, he said and demanded that incentives and disincentives to check population should be brought back.

Prof Kurien also demanded that the Dowry prohibition Act should be sincerely implemented and misuse of medical termination of Pregnancy Act should be checked to prevent female foeticide.

''Female foeticide should be considered a murder and stringent laws should be enacted to check it.'' Referring to mention of foreign investment in the President's Address, he sounded a note of caution regarding FDI, saying that it should not be allowed in retail business as it would result in largescale unemployement, especially in small towns and rural areas.

Mr Kurien in his remarks strongly supported the nuclear deal with the US and made sharp attacks on its opponents, which resulted in heated exchanges with Left members, particularly Ms Brinda Karat of the CPI(M).

Mr Ved Prakash Goel of the BJP in his remarks criticised the government for failing to take measures to check the farmers suicides. Quoting extensive statistics on suicides in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab, he said the magnitude of the problem was too great to be solved by just allocating Rs 60,000 crore for loan waiver.

The crisis could not be solved unless farmers were given adequate prices for their produce, said Mr Goyal.

He also criticised the working of the National Highway Authority of India and the government's failure to check terrorist incidents, and to control prices of essential commodities.

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