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Lok Sabha bill seeks to cap guests, spending at Indian weddings

The purpose of this Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnisation, Congress MP Ranjeet told PTI. (Image source: Flickr) Photograph: (Others)

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 16, 2017, 01.26 AM (IST)

A bill in the Lok Sabha seeks to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in Indian weddings to check “show of wealth”, and would force those spending above Rs 5 lakh ($7,476) to contribute towards marriages of girls from low-income families.

If a family spends above Rs 5 lakh ($7,476) on a wedding, it has to contribute 10 per cent of the amount on marriages of girls from low-income families, according to the bill introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan. The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016, may be taken up as a private member’s bill in the upcoming Lok Sabha session.

A bill in the Lok Sabha seeks to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in Indian weddings. More on this story on: http://bit.ly/2llRGNq (WION)

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The estimated cost of an average wedding in India can run between Rs 5 lakh ($7,476) to Rs 5 crore ($747,328), according to retail.franchiseindia.com. On average, a wedding in metropolitan Indian cities costs between Rs 25 lakh ($37,349) to 70 lakh ($104,579), the website says. 

The purpose of this bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnisation, Ranjeet told PTI. “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 growing in the country. 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 said.

The bill seeks that “if any family intends to spend more than Rs 5 lakh towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall 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“.

It says that after this proposed legislation comes into force, all marriages shall be registered within 60 days of the solemnisation.

The government may fix the limit of guests and relatives and number of dishes to be served to the guests and relatives for solemnisation of marriage or for the reception held thereafter as it may deem necessary or expedient to prevent the wastage of food items, it adds.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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