Context: The government’s maternity benefit scheme, or Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, has crossed 1.75 crore eligible women till financial year 2020, the Centre informed Parliament.
- Under PMMVY, pregnant women and lactating mothers receive ?5,000 on the birth of their first child in three instalments, after fulfilling certain conditionalities. The direct benefit cash transfer is to help expectant mothers meet enhanced nutritional requirements as well as to partially compensate them for wage loss during their pregnancy.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
- It has been launched by the Ministry of Woman and Child Development.
- Under the scheme, pregnant women and lactating mothers are offered a cash incentive of ?6,000 for the birth of their first child as partial compensation for wage loss, to reduce maternal mortality and malnutrition levels among children.
- Cash incentive of Rs 5000 is provided in three instalments i.e. first instalment of Rs 1000/ – on early registration of pregnancy at the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) / approved Health facility, second instalment of Rs 2000/ – after six months of pregnancy on receiving at least one ante-natal check-up (ANC) and third instalment of Rs 2000/ – after child birth is registered and the child has received the first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis – B, or its equivalent/ substitute.
- The eligible beneficiaries would receive the incentive given under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Institutional delivery and the incentive received under JSY would be accounted towards maternity benefits so that on an average a woman gets Rs 6000/-.
- Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, all pregnant women (except those already receiving similar benefits under other laws) are entitled to maternity benefits of ?6,000 per child.
- In this context, the modalities of the scheme violate the NFSA: benefits are restricted to the first living child, and to ?5,000 per woman.
- The Scheme covers all Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers, excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
- In case of miscarriage/still birth, the beneficiary would be eligible to claim the remaining instalment(s) in event of any future pregnancy.
- In case of infant mortality, she will not be eligible for claiming benefits under the scheme, if she has already received all the instalments of the maternity benefit under PMMVY earlier.
- The scheme will provide Aadhaar linked, Direct Benefit Transfer in beneficiary’s bank/post office account in three instalments
- at the stage of early registration of pregnancy,
- after six months of pregnancy on at least one antenatal check-up and
- registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child.
- The PMMVY is Centrally Sponsored Scheme under which the cost sharing ratio between the Centre and the States & UTs with Legislature is 60:40, for North-Eastern States & three Himalayan States, it is 90:10 and 100% Central assistance for Union Territories without Legislature.
- The States are bound to implement this Scheme because the scheme is a by-product of the National Food Security Act.