The central government has approved the Pan-India implementation of the Maternity Benefits Programme under which pregnant women and lactating mothers would be provided financial aid of Rs. 6000 for their first live child. The scheme would now be extended to all the districts in the country from 1 January 2017. Narendra Modi in his 31st December Speech announced the Pan-India extension of the scheme.
The main objective of Rs. 6000 Pregnancy Aid Scheme is to provide compensation for wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the pregnant lady can take adequate rest and nutrition before and after delivery. The central government would spend Rs. 7,932 crore out of total Rs. 12,661 crore for the implementation of the scheme between January 2017 and March 2020. Rest of the cost would be borne by the state governments.
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 would not be applicable for the benefits of the scheme.
The main objectives of the maternity benefits programme are
- To provide partial reimbursement for wage loss to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers to ensure adequate rest and nutrition before and after delivery.
- Improving the health of pregnant women and lactating mothers and reducing the effects of undernutrition through cash incentives for nutrition.
Implementation of Maternity Benefit Programme
The scheme would be implemented by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. The ministry would provide Rs. 5000 in three instalments to all eligible women for the birth of the first live child. Rest of the cash incentive would be provided after the institutional delivery. The amount would be transferred directly to the saving bank account of the beneficiary women through Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) mode.
Financial Benefits Under the Scheme
The instalments of the cash incentive would be provided as per the following schedule
- First Installment: Rs. 1000 would be provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers at the time of registration of pregnancy.
- Second Instalment: Rs 2,000 if they carry out at least one antenatal check-up after six months of pregnancy.
- Third Instalment: When the birth of the child is registered and the child has its first cycle of vaccines, including BCG, OPV, DPT, and hepatitis-B.
The central government through this maternity benefits program aims to concentrate on good, quality care for every pregnant woman who reaches a government health care centre.
More details about the scheme can be found on the official website of Ministry of Women and Child Welfare at http://wcd.nic.in.