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No more extravagant wedding? Bill in LS seeks cap on guests

Chanakya IAS Academy

A Bill that is to be tabled in the Lok Sabha seeks to limit the number of guests that are invited and the dishes that are served in a wedding to keep a check on the show of wealth. The purpose of the Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure done on marriages. The bill proposes that those spending above Rs 5 lakh contribute towards marriage of poor girls. If a family spends above 5 lakhs on a wedding, it must contribute 10% of the amount on marriage of girls from poor families.

Extravagant weddings continue to be a social problem in our country, financially ruining families especially those in the lower and middle income group. Families from lower income group who are forced to host such weddings due to social pressure get embroiled in a debt trap.

Importance of marriage:

Chanakya IAS AcademyIndian society assigns great importance to marriage. But the tendency of celebrating marriages with pomp and show with lavish spending’s has unfortunately grown in the country.
These days’ marriages are more about display of wealth and so poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This needs to be checked as this is against the interest of society at large

The proposed bill:

The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill 2016, which aims to achieve the objective of prohibiting wasteful expenditure done on marriages may be taken up as a private member’s Bill in the upcoming session.

Once the proposed legislation comes into force, all marriages shall be registered within 60 days. The government through the bill also proposes to fix the number of guests that are invited and the number of dishes that are served in marriages.

A welfare fund:

The Bill seeks to establish a welfare fund for this purpose. If any family intends to spend more than 5 lakhs towards expenditure on marriage, the amount proposed should be declared in advance to the appropriate government. 10% of such amount should be contributed towards a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government and is aimed at assisting the poor and Below Poverty Line families for marriage of their daughters.

The measure is a necessity to eliminate a social evil and to prevent large scale wastage of food items in a country that is fighting hunger and malnutrition.

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