India to Offer Free Honeymoons for Delayed Babies

Wait two years to have a baby and enjoy a paid second honeymoon.

That's the "Honeymoon Package" being introduced in Satara district in India's western Maharashtra state, V.H. Mohite, a state health officer, said Friday.

Authorities are trying to coax couples, especially in poor families, to help cut the district's population growth rate, Mohite said.

A couple will get $121 if they decide to have their first child after two years of marriage. If they hold off for another year, they will get $182, he said.

The scheme will be introduced next week in Satara district, which has a population of nearly 3 million.

"Even if 20 percent of couples enroll, it could delay the births of 5,000 babies," Mohite said.

Nearly 25,000 marriages take place in the district every year with 85 percent of women conceiving in the first year, according to a study by the district administration.

A couple must register with a local health center and attend counseling every quarter.

"We will tell them the importance of having only one child and the need for a good diet and education," said Mohite.

India, with nearly 1.1 billion people, is expected to overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2050.