09/30/2015, 00.00
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Jakarta to introduce family planning to prevent poor and ignorant generations

The Indonesian population is growing at 1.49 per cent rate a year. Because of the economic crisis, the government wants to cut to 1.1 per cent. A pilot project is set to start next January in West Java a village. So far however, the country’s poorest and more underdeveloped areas have been impervious to such policies.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Each year, Indonesia has 4.5 million live births. This represents a population growth of 1.49 per cent per year. In view of the situation, the Indonesian government wants to introduce family planning legislation to curb the current rate of growth.

Such a rate is the equivalent of adding 85 per cent of neighbouring Singapore's population each year. Because the country’s economy is in the dull-drum, the authorities want to reduce it to 1.1 per cent.

National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) chief Surya Chandra Surapaty said that the current population growth rate is a source of concern because such a massive increase is not being accompanied by greater labour productivity.

The Indonesian economy has been struggling for several months with industrial capacity underutilised and the national currency at its lowest point in 17 years.

Speaking about the problem, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, "If we consider the next ten years, this rate of population growth means adding 10 Singapore to our population."

The president also noted that the highest growth was in East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, and the Riau islands.

His concern is that children born in these poor and underdeveloped areas will become a low-income, poorly educated generation.

For the authorities, family planning has failed so far due to a lack of education. In order to deal with the issue, the president approved a pilot project in a village in West Java set to begin in January next year.

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