In a bid to stabilise the state’s population growth rate, the Assam Cabinet on Monday decided to bar people with more than two children from having government jobs in the state after January 1, 2021. The two-child norm was already implemented in the state for Panchayati Raj and Municipal body elections, and now the same has been extended to state government jobs.
According to reports, the statement released by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s public relations team stated that those having more than two children will not be considered for government jobs with effect from January 1, 2021, as per the small family norm.
In September 2017, the Assam Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution adopting the ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’. According to the policy, the state government proposed to bar anyone with more than two children from contesting municipal and panchayat elections, getting government jobs and other benefits.
Reportedly, the average family size in Assam is 5.5 which is above the national average, which has pushed the population of the Northeast state by almost one crore to 3.12 crore between 2001 and 2011 census while the population density is 398 as per 2011 census as against 340 in 2001.
In 2017, the government Assam had announced its plans to bring legislation to incentivize families to limit the family size. The plan was to allow these families freedom to aspire for a higher standard of living and thereby keep the state’s fast-growing population within the critical limit and achieve a stable population size by 2045.
Further, the cabinet also took important decisions on Monday evening and adopted a New Land Policy, which will provide three bighas of agricultural land to landless indigenous people and half a bigha for constructing a house. However, a beneficiary can sell the land only after 15 years of use.
“New Land Policy was adopted. Three bighas of land will be given to landless indigenous people. Landless people will be offered half a bigha to construct their houses. These cannot be sold for 15 years,” the CMO statement said.
The Cabinet meeting also decided to increase the bus fares in the state by 25 per cent, it added. The BJP government also decided to give Rs 300 per month to widows under a scheme named after educationist Indira Miri. The scheme also entails a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 for women who became widows on or after April 1.