The Cabinet on Wednesday (May 17) approved the pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program, which will be applicable only to the first-born. 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 eligible pregnant women and lactating mothers from all districts of India will receive Rs6,000 for better health-care during pregnancy.
Objective of the scheme
- 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.
- The cash incentives provided will lead to improved health seeking behaviour among the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) to reduce the effects of under-nutrition namely stunting, wasting and other related problems.
- All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&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 Rs5000 to PW&LM in three instalments for birth of first live child by Ministry of Women and 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 Rs6,000.
Conditions and instalments
Pregnant women and lactating mothers who are eligible will receive cash benefit of Rs5,000 in three instalments in three stages:
- For first instalment, under the condition of early registration of pregnancy, is Rs1,000.
- Second instalment, under the condition of receiving at least one antenatal check-up (after 6 months of pregnancy), is Rs2,000.
- The third instalment, under the condition that child birth is registered or child has received first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis-B or its equivalent / substitute, is Rs2,000.
- 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 Rs6,000.
The total cost of the proposal for the period starting January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020, including Central and state government share, is Rs12,661 crore. The Government of India’s share during this period comes to around Rs7,932 crore.