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15 Feb 2017

Bill in Lok Sabha to clamp down on ostentatious weddings

Can Lok Sabha bill end extravagant weddings?

A bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan that seeks to end the practice of opulent and extravagant weddings.

The intent and purpose of the bill is to curtail practice of wasteful and excessive wedding expenditure which has become a norm.

The bill is presently titled 'The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016'.

In context

Can Lok Sabha bill end extravagant weddings?
What does the bill curtail?

Key provisions

What does the bill curtail?

The bill may be taken up as private member's bill in upcoming Lok-Sabha session.

It aims to restrict 'extravagance' by limiting number of guests invited, the variety of dishes served and even the amount of money spent by family on festivities are proposed to be 'regulated'.

In the event wedding's expenditure exceeds Rs 5 lakh, the bill proposes a mandatory contribution towards the less-privileged.

Welfare fund for BPL weddings

The bill provides if wedding expenditure exceeds Rs 5 lakh, family will intimate government in advance. 10% of this must be contributed towards weddings in 'Below Poverty line' families and the government must set up a welfare fund for this purpose.

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Curbing social evil?

Is there need for such a bill?

Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan draws attention to undue pressures marriages impose on families.

She says, "These days, marriages are about showing off your wealth and as a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This needs to be checked as it's not good for society at large."

Ranjan adds the bill prohibits "extravagant and wasteful expenditure to enforce simpler solemnization."

What is private member's bill?

An MP who is not a minister is considered a private member. He/she can submit a legislative proposal to be enacted as law. In the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha, 328 and 598 private member bills were introduced but only a fraction became law.

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