The Planning Commission has not given "in-principle" nod to a Central government scheme aimed at containing the population decline of Parsi community, the government told the Lok Sabha today.
The National Family Health Survey reported that the fertility rate of the community for India is only 0.94.
"A scheme for containing population decline of small minority community was proposed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs for introduction in 2010-11. The Planning Commission has not accorded in-principle approval to the proposal," Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said in a written reply.
Citing the decennial census reports, the minister said the population of Parsi community has declined from 111,791 in 1951 to 76,382 in 1991 and then to 69,601 in 2001.
"National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) has reported a continuous decline in fertility across all communities.
However, while the total fertility (rate) for India is 2.7 and that of Parsis is 0.94," Khurshid said.
He said that the first report on religion data of Census of India 2001 in its brief analysis has stated that the Parsi population in India shows definite signs of decline and has suggested that "fertility improvement initiatives rather than fertility control measures adopted by the community so far are possibly the need of the hour before it reaches a point of no return."