What is PMMVY? What’s the relevance of PMMVY? Is there any criticism against this scheme? Read all you need to know about this scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) was launched in 2017 as a flagship maternity benefits programme of the Government of India.
Do you know what was PMMVY earlier called? It was known to be Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana.
What is PMMVY?
- The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), which is centrally sponsored, is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) are eligible for three instalments of maternity benefits totalling Rs. 5000 upon meeting specified requirements.
- After an institutional delivery, the eligible beneficiaries are also entitled to receive a monetary incentive toward maternity benefits under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), with a woman often receiving Rs. 6000.
- The Anganwadi Services, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of Integrated Child Development Services, also entitle PW&LM to Supplementary Nutrition (ICDS).
- The PMMVY is a direct benefit transfer scheme.
- PMMVY is a Maternity Benefit Programme that is implemented in all the districts of the country in accordance with the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
- A beneficiary is only qualified to receive benefits once under the scheme. The beneficiary would be qualified to receive the remaining instalment (s) in the case of a subsequent pregnancy in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth.
- All Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) are eligible for maternity benefits under the PMMVY, with the exception of those who are regularly employed by the Central Government, a State Government, a Public Sector Undertaking, or who are receiving benefits of a similar nature under any currently in effect law.
- The conditions attached to the disbursement of maternity benefit instalments are designed to incentivize PW&LM to seek medical care.
- PMMVY is a maternity benefit rechristened from the erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). The IGMSY was launched in 2010.
Implementation: PMMVY is implemented using the platform of the Anganwadi Services scheme of Umbrella ICDS under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Learn more about Mission Indradhanush Scheme.
The objectives of the scheme are:
- By offering financial incentives as a partial replacement for lost wages, the mother will be able to get enough rest before and after giving birth to her first child.
- The cash incentives provided would lead to improved health-seeking behaviour amongst Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM).
What’s the relevance of PMMVY?
- Undernutrition: Undernutrition continues to adversely affect women in India. In India, every third woman is undernourished and every second woman is anaemic.
- To deliver a healthy baby: An undernourished mother almost inevitably gives birth to a low birth weight baby. When poor nutrition starts in-utero, it extends throughout the life cycle since the changes are largely irreversible.
- To reduce the job burden on pregnant women: Due to social and economic hardship, many women continue to work to support their families up to the very last days of their pregnancies.
- To ensure neonatal care and take care of women’s health: Even though their bodies might not be able to support it, they return to work soon after giving birth. This prevents their bodies from fully recuperating on the one hand, and also makes it difficult for them to exclusively breastfeed their newborn kid for the first six months.
Criticisms of the scheme
- The application process is tedious: Women must produce a number of documents in addition to filling out a lengthy form for each instalment, including their “mother-and-child protection” card, bank passbook, Aadhaar card, and husband’s Aadhaar card. Important information must be consistent across documents, and the bank account and Aadhaar must be linked. This has made it harder to apply.
- Frequent technical glitches in the online application and payment process.
- Grievance redressal facilities are virtually non-existent: When an application is rejected or returned with queries, the applicant may or may not get to know about it.
- Aadhaar-related problems: Rejected payments due to a mismatch (say, in the spelling of the beneficiary’s name) between a person’s Aadhaar card and bank account. More than 20% of the respondents during the Jaccha-Baccha Survey (JABS) mentioned that they had faced difficulties because the address on their Aadhaar card was that of their maika (parents’ home), not of their sasural (in-laws’ house).
- The coverage and benefits were reduced (compared with NFSA norms, which are very modest in the first place). This defused public demand for PMMVY. The PMMVY excludes the nation’s most vulnerable mothers by limiting the benefit to only the first live birth. According to the Sample Registration System report on fertility indicators, 43% of the country’s current live births are first-order births, immediately excluding more than half of all newborns (about 57%) from the PMMVY. The actual expenditure was barely Rs 2,000 crore; the allocation was oddly reduced to Rs 1,200 crore in the revised Budget 2018-19.
- Increase the budgetary allocation to the scheme.
- The benefit of the scheme should be extended to at least the first two live births.
- Adopt and extend the best model maternal benefit programme of Odisha or Tamil Nadu on a national basis.
Tamil Nadu: Under the Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme, pregnant women in Tamil Nadu receive financial assistance of Rs 18,000 per child for the first two births, including a nutrition kit.
Odisha: Mamata scheme covers two births, albeit with lower entitlements — Rs.5,000 per child as with the PMMVY.
Article Written by: Remya
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