Number of beneficiaries enrolled for maternity benefit plan exceeded target: Government

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Number of beneficiaries enrolled for maternity benefit plan exceeded target: Government

  • PMMVY scheme is estimated to cover 51.70 lakh beneficiaries annually.
  • The number of beneficiaries who enrolled for the maternity benefit programme, called Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), exceeded the government's target of 51.7 lakh per year in each of the last three years.
  • The total number of beneficiaries enrolled during each of the last three financial years under the PMMVY is more than the indicative target.

About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

  • PMMVY (Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana) is a maternity benefit that was previously known as Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). In 2010, the IGMSY was launched.
  • The programme is a conditional cash transfer programme for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • It compensates women for lost wages due to childbirth and childcare, as well as creating circumstances for safe delivery and healthy nutrition and feeding practises.
  • They receive a monetary reward of Rs. 5,000 in three instalments if they meet the conditions, which include early pregnancy registration, antenatal check-ups, and registration of the child's birth, as well as completion of the first immunisation cycle for the family's first living child.
  • The Janani Suraksha Yojana also provides monetary incentives to eligible beneficiaries (JSY). As a result, on average, a woman receives Rs. 6,000.

Exceptions under PMMVY

  • All pregnant women and lactating mothers (PW&LM) are eligible for maternity benefits, with the exception of those who are employed by the Central Government, a State Government, or a Public Sector Undertaking, or who are receiving equivalent benefits under any law currently in force.

Funding under PMMVY

  • The system is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in which the cost sharing ratio between the Centre and States and UTs with Legislature is 60:40, whereas it is 90:10 for the North-Eastern States and three Himalayan States.
  • For Union Territories without a legislature, it is 100 percent central assistance.

Challenges in implementation

  • The scheme has been criticised for under-funding and failing to cater to all targeted beneficiaries.
  • Activists also call the scheme illegal as it violates the National Food Security Act, 2013 under which all mothers, and not just mothers of the first living child, should get a maternity benefit of ₹6,000.
  • An application form of about 23 pages, a slew of documents such as mother-child protection card, Aadhaar card, husband’s Aadhaar card and bank passbook aside from linking their bank accounts with Aadhaar.

Scenario of Women suffering from Malnutrition

  • The majority of women in India continue to suffer from malnutrition. In India, one out of every three women is malnourished, and one out of every two women is anaemic.
  • A malnourished mother nearly always gives birth to a baby with a low birth weight. Because the alterations are typically irreversible, poor nutrition begins in utero and continues throughout life.
  • Due to economic and social hardships, many women continue to work to support their families right up until the end of their pregnancy.
  • They return to work soon after childbirth, even if their bodies don't allow it, preventing their bodies from properly recuperating on the one hand, and hindering their capacity to exclusively breastfeed their newborn for the first six months on the other.