The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave ex-post facto approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program which now has been extended to all districts of the country from January 1.
The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on December 31, 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 January 1 to March 3, 2020, including the Central and State Government share, is Rs.12,661 crore.
Government of India's share during that period comes to around Rs. 7,932 crore.
Objective of the Scheme are:
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 and LM) to reduce the effects of under-nutrition namely, stunting, wasting and other related problems.
All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW and 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 these women in three installments for the birth of the first live child by the Ministry Of Women & Child Development (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.
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.
Therefore, 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 and LM would lead to better health status for the mother and the child.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)