New bill in Lok Sabha seeks to put a cap on lavish weddings

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New bill in Lok Sabha seeks to put a cap on lavish weddings

Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of Rajesh Ranjan a.k.a. Pappu Yadav, will be introducing a new bill in Lok Sabha in its next session. The bill has been named the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill 2016. It will be introduced as a private member bill.

According to Mrs. Rajan, weddings have become more of a lavish display of wealth rather than a celebration of the solemnity of the marriage. She also said, lavish wedding were putting social pressure on the masses to spend more on the weddings of their children.

The provisions the bill seeks to pass into law are:

  • Creation of a welfare fund to help those below the poverty line to fund weddings of their daughters.
  • Registration of the the marriage within 60 days of the ceremony.
  • Families that spend more than Rs.5 lakhs on the wedding will be required to inform the government in advance.
  • Such families will also be required to contribute 10% of the wedding expenditure to the welfare fund which helps the poor fund their weddings.
  • Provide clear limits on the number of guests that can be invited and the number of dishes that can be served.

This is not the first time that such a bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. There have been 6 such bills introduced in the last 20 years but each of them has been rejected.

Statistically, the chances of this bill being passed look bleak according to a PRS report on the Lok Sabha’s record with private member bills. The report shows that between 1952 and 2008 only 14 private member bills were passed. It also shows that in the 14th session of the Lok Sabha, 328 private member bills were introduced but only 14 were considered for discussion and only 53 hours were spent on discussing them during the 5 year term.

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