6:05 am - Friday July 21, 2017

Need to re-think population control measures in Kerala: Dr S Sanyal

Kochi, Apr 2: There is an imperative need for India to revisit its population management measures in view of the changing dynamics and profile of its demography characterized by a healthy increase in the number of old people as also a phenomenal growth of young populace, a top economic official of the country said here on Sunday.

 “India needs to reorient its policies for population management to take care of the needs of both its old and young people and harness their energies for a speedy economic growth,”   Dr Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India, said.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Development and Environment’ organised by Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram (BVK) as part of Sri P Parameswaran Navati Celebrations, the official drew attention to the burgeoning population of youth in the country, which has resulted in increasing its production capacity.

Dr Sanyal said the government has been implementing measures for population control and management. Urbanisation has also played a key role in controlling population. “But population control in itself will not improve the economic condition of our country unless the productive capacity of the people is effectively channelized,” he noted.

Citing the example of Kerala, he said the situation has become more acute in the state which has registered a huge spurt in the number of old people due to improved healthcare facilities. “Due to availability of quality medical facilities, a vast majority of its people are healthy. This has also led the government to spend large amounts of money for pension and other benefits as people retire from service by the age of 56”, he added.

The declining birth rate in Kerala can also lead to an economic crisis as the state’s production capacity would be affected, he said. Dr Sanyal said the presence of slums is the biggest threat for urbanization. Rather than demolishing the slums, the basic infrastructure at these places should be improved.

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