Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has announced to offer incentives to couples who decide to have more than two children. The chief minister’s decision is against the state government’s population control measure. The decision was apparently taken to ensure that certain population-based dividends are secured from the 15th Finance Commission.

On Friday, while Naidu launched the state’s white paper on human resources development (HRD), he made a strong case for keeping the state’s demographic balance in check. “It is high time to correct trends indicating demographic imbalances, lest the state may turn senile in two decades…,” Naidu was quoted in a press release. Naidu also announced his decision to phase out norm barring candidates with more than two children from contesting in local bodies’ elections.

Naidu claimed that the population of Andhra Pradesh has reduced by 1.6 per cent over the last 10 years. Naidu reinstated the importance of maintaining the strata of the population aged below 25 in order to keep the state young. Currently, the population aged below 25 in the state is 50 per cent. He added that Andra Pradesh is likely to encounter a Japan-like crisis, where “there are more mouths to eat, but less hands to work” if the population continues to decline at the current trend for the next two decades.

Releasing the white paper on Human Resources and Social Development, Naidu tweeted on December 28, “Culture and traditions should be part of our life. In the future we will be more concerned about human resources. Effective use of human resources will achieve the desired goals. Now we are moving forward.”

In March 2016, Naidu raised a similar concern claiming that the state is bound to face stringent challenges if the educated youth choose not to give birth to children. Naidu reportedly said, “The state’s population is witnessing a down fall. It is not good for any progressive country.”