"Decline in birth rate is a good indicator of development, but we do not want to encourage this trend as it may lead to dwindling of local population," he said at a public meeting in South district yesterday.
To encourage Sikkimese couples to have more than one child, the state government will provide financial grant of Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 on the birth of the first and second child, respectively, Chamling said.
Chamling, however, did not say anything about the birth of more than two children in a family.
According to the 2011 census, the population of Sikkim was 6,10,577, while in the 2001 census report, the state's population stood at 5,40,851 and in 1991, it was 4,06,457. These figures also include non-indigenous people.
"The total population growth in the decade (2001-2011) was 12.89 per cent, while in the previous decade (1991-2001), it was 32.98 per cent," the 2011 census report said.
Indigenous people of Sikkim include tribes such as Lepchas, Bhutias and Limbus.
Chamling, the longest serving chief minister in the country, expressed satisfaction over increase in life expectancy of the Sikkimese by 10 years in the last two decades, in which he has been in power.
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