Gangtok: Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced various incentives for people from ethnic communities to have more children. Addressing the Magh Sankranti program in South Sikkim’s Jorthang town on Sunday, he said Sikkim’s “fertility rate has registered the lowest growth rate of one child per woman in recent years” with ethnic communities depopulating. ‘ “We need to boost the declining fertility rate by encouraging local people, including women, to have more children,” Tamang said.
The chief minister said his government has already provided 365 days maternity leave to women in service and 30 days paternity leave to male employees to encourage them to have children. Apart from this, the state government has proposed to give one increment for the second child and two increments for the third child to the women employees. The Chief Minister said that common people would also be eligible for financial assistance for having multiple children, the details of which would be worked out by the health and women and child care departments.
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Tamang said his government has started ‘IVF’ (in vitro fertilisation) facility in Sikkim’s hospitals to encourage women to conceive naturally. He said that all mothers who give birth to children through this process will be given a grant of three lakh rupees. The Chief Minister said that so far 38 women have conceived with the ‘IVF’ facility and some of them have also become mothers.
Tamang urged the people of Sikkim to have a small family by having only one child. ”Pressure” Pawan Kumar targeted the previous government led by Chamling. At present Sikkim has an estimated population of less than seven lakhs, of which about 80 per cent are ethnic communities.
Tags: child policy, Sikkim
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 17, 2023, 05:15 IST