Sat, 09 Oct 1999

RI to equal China's population

BANJARMASIN, South Kalimantan: Indonesia is closing in on India and China in terms of population growth, State Minister of Population/Chairman of the National Family Planning Board (BKKBN) Ida Bagus Oka said here on Friday.

Oka said if Indonesia fails to apply strict birth control, its population will tie with those of China and India, the world's most populated countries, in 2020.

"We can restrict each family to having only one child. This kind of regulation might be effective in scaling down population growth by 2010," he told Antara.

The Indonesian population will reach 206 million in 2000.

Oka said the economic crisis caused some two million couples to stop participating in the family planning program in 1998. But during the same period, 5.6 million new couples joined the program. (04)