Friday, January 05, 2007

Child Tax?

"You know in Philippines, there are only girls and girls everywhere" - a Philippines returned friend was telling me the other day.

He was clearly exaggerating, but ever wondered why does India have a sex-ratio well above 1.0 (sex-ratio = no. of males/no. of females)? Most of the countries other than the developing countries similar to India are 'rich' in terms of proportionate female population. The major contributor to this disparity is the so called 'khaandan ka chirag'/'वंशाचा दिवा’ mentality among us. Just look around and you’ll find couples willing to do ‘anything’ just to have baby boy and not a girl. It’s no wonder the freak astrologers, the babas etc. flourish.

In a more global scenario, facing a stiff shortage of skilled manpower, the whole developed world is looking at India’s huge pool of talent. In fact it’s time to forget the family planning, even though we are heading toward becoming the country with the highest population in the world. We just can’t afford to force limit our young talent. Look at Japan and China. Both have a large population density; still they are starving for more and more children. China has abolished the 1-child norm way back, as they have understood the importance of the new generations coming in.

Though we have been fairing pretty well on the population front, are we producing a ‘quality’ population? We often see that the well educated and financially sound people tend to have less children than those who are much poorer. The growing population of the economically backward class or of the BPL (below poverty line) is the big problem ahead of us rather than the overall population.

The nation cannot bear the burden of incompetent population. Every child coming into being should have some solvency. One shouldn’t produce just any number of children as he/she wishes and put extra burden on the nation. After all, the taxpayers’ money is used to feed the ‘insolvent’ population.

The need of the hour is to introduce kind of Child Tax. The parent’s must deposit, which could be refunded after the child turns 18 –say- Rs. 10k per each baby boy (girls can be spared till the sex ratio gets even) . This could well solve the above mentioned issues. First, as there’s no tax on baby girls, the sex ration will be in check. Secondly, only those children who could be well fed, well brought up will come into existing and help India prosper.

Look what just the two Ambanis are doing. Wouldn’t have –say- 5 of them been more helpful to the Nation?

-- Comments and suggestions welcome.


Anonymous said...

good to see you online
keep us posted :)

Suhas H Chatekar said...

This is nice idea...
why dont you put it in more elborate form....
I will come up with more comments soon....

Abhijeet Deshpande said...

I agree that this could be explained more elaboratively. It's just that I ran out of time and the article was already too lengthy.

I also wanted to emphasize that,

Those who can't bring up their children on their own, should not 'bring' them into this world at all.
At the same time, the 'capable'(not physically) people should look beyond the cliched "Hum Do Humare Do"

abhishek said...

The article is different. you have posted a very differnet idea. In first part, you have give good reasons not to have child norms as such. Because each child coming to this land, is important after 18 years. And for India it becomes important too. I too agree with the importance of 'quality population'. There is no place for any incompetant youth. No one has right to produce any number of childs as per wishes. It is extra burden on Nation - Society - Earth.
But, the thing is that Law / Tax (as per your suggestion) can not turn 'any' type of population into "quality" population. It is Nation's, governments' and society's responsibility to make such populations. And if large percentage of our population is turning incompetant, then it is not the problem with the child / his parents. Its true that population growth is more among BPL's, but "tax" can't be answer!!

sumit said...

It is a nicely written article and the points put forward by you are interesting and I totally agree with you on the issue of female foeticide....but I would like to point out the assumptions, I think, you have made:

1. that competent children are born only to financially stable parents.

We know that a lot of youths coming from a good (family & educational) background are not always successful. Also the crime and corruption rate in up-society is more than among BPL. And addiction, one of the major problems of our youth today, is more prevalent in financially well off families.

2. that a family that is financially stable/unstable today will remain the same in future

If that was the case and we applied your theory to the Ambanis, we would not have even 2 of them today because Dhirubhai himself was from a poor background.

3. the BPL population is not totally worthless

Look at the work done by these people, building roads, buildings, bridges; cleaning sewage and water lines etc. The labour work done by them is irreplaceable and I don't think they are a spare able part of society. I think focus should be on the up-lifting these people rather than breeding them out.

In no way am I criticizing your article, these are just the points that came to me while reading your article. I think we need to fine-tune your idea.