Number of beneficiaries enrolled in maternity benefits scheme exceeded target: government

The PMMVY program is estimated to cover 51.70 lakh beneficiaries annually, says Smriti Irani.

The PMMVY program is estimated to cover 51.70 lakh beneficiaries annually, says Smriti Irani.

The number of beneficiaries who registered for the maternity benefit scheme, called Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), exceeded the government’s target of 51.7 lakh per year in each of the past three years, said in Parliament the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani. Wednesday.

“The total number of beneficiaries enrolled in each of the last three fiscal years under the PMMVY is above the indicative target,” the minister told the Rajya Sabha in response to a question from Trinamool Congressman Sushmita Dev. .

The answer did not provide the exact number of registrations.

The PMMVY program is estimated to cover 51.70 lakh beneficiaries per year, Ms Irani said, adding that it was only an “indicative” target.

3 installments

The scheme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address to the nation on December 31, 2016. It provides a benefit of ₹5,000 in three installments to a woman for her first living child under certain conditions. This is partial compensation for the loss of salary during her pregnancy so that she can feed herself properly. The program is only for women who are not employed by the central or state government or a public sector company and who do not receive similar benefits under any law. It is associated with the Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme which provides nearly ₹1,000 for institutional births so that mothers receive a total of ₹6,000 in maternity benefits.

In response to a question whether the government had conducted an assessment to find out the total number of beneficiaries of the scheme, the minister said that according to the sample Statistical Report of the Registration System (SRS) 2018, the percentage of Prime births in India was 49.5 of the total live births.

According to the Health Management Information System of the Ministry of Health, the total number of live births in 2019-2020 was 2.71 crore and hence, prime births were 1.34 crore . The scheme has been criticized for being underfunded 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, not just mothers of the first living child, should receive a maternity benefit of ₹6,000.

No proportional increase

Although last week Ms Irani said the benefit would be extended for the birth of the second child when the second child is a girl, the budget for the 2022-2023 financial year has not seen a commensurate increase.

The stipend for the program in 2019-20 was ₹2,522 crore. In 2020-21, the program was combined with several other programs under the Samarthya program and a total of ₹2,500 crore was allocated. For the financial year 2022-2023, the combined allocation for the Samarthya program is ₹2,622 crore.

According to an analysis by the Center for Policy Research and IFPRI Accountability Initiative, the PMMVY program in 2019-2020 required a budget of ₹6,636 crore to cover all targeted beneficiaries.

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