Indonesian officials call for laws to slow population growth

11/29/2011 21:49

WireUpdate:  AKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) -- Indonesian officials are calling on the government to introduce new laws in an attempt to slow down the population growth rate in the country, local media reported on Tuesday.

Indonesia's National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKB) chief Sugiri Syarief told the Antara news agency that a population growth rate law which regulates the constant increase is "crucial and needed" for the Asian country.

Officials from the BKKB met with members of the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission IX in Jakarta on Monday to discuss the idea. It is now being considered by the Commission IX to assess if a bill should be introduced, but few details about a proposed law have been released.

Sugiri noted that Indonesia's population currently stands at roughly 240 million with its growth rate remaining high at 1.49 percent per year. He said he hopes the commission will move quickly and launches a study.

Currently, the BKKB is carrying out the family planning revitalization program, the launching of a population grand design and family planning programs throughout the archipelago as efforts to slow down the country's population growth. Sugiri added that the agency is seeking for cooperation agreements with various stakeholders for increased support.

In China, the government introduced a family planning policy in 1978 which makes it illegal for approximately 35.9 percent of China's population, mainly urban couples, to have more than one child. Hong Kong and Macau are exempt from the policy, which has been blamed for forced abortions, female infanticide and other problems.

Decades after the law was introduced in China, over-population remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development in the country. The population of China is expected to hit 1.45 billion in 2020, but the government said it would have been 1.7 billion if there was no controversial one-child policy to maintain a low reproduction rate

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