In an interview Wednesday with the Ekho Moskvy radio station, Topilin attributed the rise in births to the introduction of the so-called maternity capital, which encourages families to have more than one child, on Jan. 1, 2007.
"During this period, the birth rate increased by 30 percent," he said. "We attribute [this growth] to the introduction of the maternity capital, among other things."
Women who give birth to a second child are eligible for a government-issued benefit of nearly $12,600, which can be used to improve housing conditions, pay for a child's education or put toward a pension, RIA Novosti said.
Topilin did not give exact numbers regarding the increase in birth rate.
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