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Punjab Government To Clamp Down On Sex Determination Tests

The authorities in India’s Punjab state are using decoy customers to trap doctors who conduct sex determination tests for unborn babies which // has been outlawed. The State’s sex ratio is less than 800 females for every 1,000 males.

Officials said the decoy customers would be paid up to Rs.5,000 to help nab diagnostic centers indulging in illegal sex determination tests. Punjab's Health and Family Welfare Secretary D.S. Guru said field officers of the department had been given more powers to deal with pre-natal diagnostic test centers and to ensure that no sex determination tests were being carried out.

Under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act, the determination of the sex of unborn babies is prohibited. With the generally affluent Punjabi society favoring sons, female feticide had been on the rise in the past decade.

Guru said informers giving information about illegal sex tests would be suitably rewarded by the department. The Punjab Government has decided to reward village councils that achieve an equal sex ratio in their villages.

The Government also recently approved a Rs.5 million scheme under which parents of girls would be given financial incentives till the girls attained adulthood, provided both parents opted for permanent sterilization.

Edited IANS

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