The cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the maternity benefit programme providing Rs 6,000 each to lactating mothers, but restricted the scheme to firstborns only. "A pregnant or lactating woman's first child will get up to Rs 6,000.
Out of this, Rs 5,000 will be given by the women and child development ministry in three instalments," said Power Minister Piyush Goyal at a cabinet briefing on Wednesday. The instalments will be provided through direct benefit transfer from the ministry.While Goyal maintained that the scheme was for the first child, he added that the pilot scheme was applicable for "the first two live births". The mother will receive the initial Rs 1,000 after early registration of pregnancy, Rs 2,000 after at least one antenatal check-up (after six months of pregnancy) and Rs 2,000 after the child birth is registered and has received the first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis-B or its equivalent. "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 Rs 6,000," said an official release. In his address to the nation on December 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the pan-India expansion of the existing 'Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana', which has been implemented across 56 districts on a pilot basis since 2010.