The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program which now has been extended to all districts of the country w.e.f. 01.01.2017. The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 31.12.2016 had announced Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program.
The Maternity Benefit Program will provide compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the women can take adequate rest before and after delivery and not be deprived of proper nutrition.
The total cost of the proposal for the period from 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2020 including Central and State Government share isRs.12,661crore. Government of India’s share during the period 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2020 comes to around Rs. 7932 crore.
Objective of the Scheme
i) To provide partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child.
ii) The cash incentives provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) to reduce the effects of under-nutrition namely stunting, wasting and other related problems.
All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who are in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertakings or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being. It has been decided to give the benefit of Rs.5000/- to PW&LM in three installment for the birth of the first live child by MWCD and the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under existing programmes after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman will get ₹ 6000/-.
Conditions and installments
Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who are eligible will receive a cash benefit of Rs.5,000/- in three installment at the following stages as specified in the table given below:
· Early Registration of Pregnancy.
· Received at least one antenatal Check-up (after 6 months of pregnancy)
· Child birth is registered.
· Child has received first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis-B or its equivalent/substitute.
The eligible beneficiaries would continue to receive the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under existing programmes after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman will get ₹ 6000/-.
Mode of cash transfer to the Beneficiaries
The conditional cash transfer scheme would be in DBT mode.
The Government of India is committed to ensure that every woman gets adequate support and health care during pregnancy and at the time of delivery and every newborn is immunized on time which is the foundation for better health of the mother and the newborn. Normally, the first pregnancy of a woman exposes her to new kinds of challenges and stress factors. Hence, the scheme intends to provide support to the mother for safe delivery and immunization of her first living child. The improved health care seeking behaviour of the PW&LM would lead to better health status for the mother and the child.