In 2017, the Government rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) – and now, the performance of the scheme has been deficient, necessitating urgent need for improvement especially when the novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in economic shocks for 260 lakh women who deliver on an average a child each year in India.
GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Women and Health, Government Initiatives and Policies, Welfare Schemes)
Dimensions of the Article:
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
- Concerns with PMMVY
- Way Forward
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 2017.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Under PMMVY Cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
- All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), (excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits) who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family – are the beneficiaries targeted by the scheme.
- Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments on fulfilling the following conditions:
- Early registration of pregnancy
- Ante-natal check-up
- Registration of the birth of the child and completion of first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.
- Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
Concerns with PMMVY
- Poor Performance: The scheme’s performance has been poor, forcing an immediate need for improvement.
- Exclusion of beneficiaries: The Government of India’s yearly estimate of the intended recipients has remained consistent throughout time. Because the objective has stayed constant throughout time, it barely covers 40% of the eligible population.
- Expenditure Deficit: According to data published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, enrolment and payouts under the plan have decreased in the previous two years.
- Improper Implementation: More than half of registered beneficiaries did not receive all three installments in 2020-21, resulting in a 9% decline in participation in the plan.
- Budget cuts: For 2021-22, the entire budget for women’s and children’s development has been cut by 20%. Additionally, budget allocation for the PMMVY has been reduced as it has been combined with many other programmes under SAMARTHYA.
- PMMVY maternity benefits ca be extended to the second live birth and all live births can be included in the maternity benefit coverage – to increase the benefit coverage – especially for women in the unorganized sector who are more vulnerable to economic shocks and nutrition loss.
- Since the PMMVY’s principal goal is to give partial salary compensation – the amount of the maternity benefits can be examined for a consideration of an increase.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should get 12 weeks of pay compensation totaling to Rs. 15,000 in accordance with the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, which stipulates 12 weeks of maternity leave for women with two or more children.
-Source: The Hindu