Pension proposed for mothers of two or three daughters
By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR: The Ministry of Population Welfare and Human Development has sent a summary to Prime Minister’s House recommending pensions to mothers of two or three daughters as an incentive to control the birth rate in Pakistan.
The summary suggested Rs 1,500 for mothers of two daughters and Rs 1,000 for mothers of three daughters monthly to discourage them from giving birth to more children hoping to have a son.
A source in the ministry told Daily Times on Friday that Pakistan’s population was growing because of various reasons. One was that a mother of only daughters often wanted to have a next baby hoping it would be a son. “This trend rings alarm bells,” stated the source. “Our population grows when mothers having only daughters prefer to have a next baby, hoping it will be a son. They do this fearing their husbands may go for a second marriage to have a son.” The number of such women having two or three daughters is reported around 22 million which is five percent of the total 140 million population. Mothers aged between 15 and 49 years could benefit if Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali’s cabinet approved the plan, the source added, requesting anonymity.
“The day a mother agrees that she will not give birth to the next baby after having two or three daughters she will be entitled to a pension,” he said, adding that a mother would get the pension when she crosses the age of 50 years because after that age a woman is less likely to become pregnant. The ministry plans to reduce the population growth to 1.6 percent by 2011. The current population growth was recorded at 2.06 percent. It was 3.1 percent a few years ago, said the source.