In a significant move, Congress lawmaker Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of Bihar politician Pappu Yadav introduced a private members bill in the Lok Sabha that will curb over-spending or “show of wealth” in marriages if passed. The bill would impact anyone who spends more than Rs 5 lakhs on a wedding function. This, as per the lawmaker, will prevent needless extravagance that is “not a good trend for society at large”.
The bill also aims to put a cap on the number of guests to be invited to the function along with dishes to be served. It also mentions that anyone spending over Rs 5 lakh on their marriage function, or even that of their family members, will have to grant 10 per cent of the surplus sum towards marriages of folks whose condition is pitiable or live below poverty line.
“The purpose of this Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnization,” said Ranjan.
The bill – The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill – is likely to be taken up in the Lok Sabha during the imminent Budget session of Parliament that will continue following a break on March 9.
“Great importance should be assigned to the solemnisation of marriage between two individuals. But unfortunately, these days a tendency of celebrating marriages with pomp and show, and spending lavishly is growing in the country,” said Ranjan while emphasizing on the significance of the bill.
“These days, marriages are more about showing off your wealth and as a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This is needed to be checked as it is not good for society at large,” she added.
The bill if passed will help curb profligacy to a degree, but will not prevent someone from celebrating generously if they desire to. “If any family still intends to spend more than Rs 5 lakhs on weddings, such families will have to declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to the appropriate government, and contribute 10 per cent of such amount in a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist the poor and Below Poverty Line families for the marriage of their daughters”.