Out Of Rs 336 Cr, UP Govt Has Not Spent Single Penny For Mothers Under PM's Maternity Scheme: RTI
On December 31, 2016, our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that pregnant women in our country would be given maternity assistance by his government under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). The Modi government’s promise has fallen short as a Right To Information (RTI) has revealed that not even a single rupee has been spent on pregnant women of Uttar Pradesh. These ‘going to be mothers’, who had enrolled themselves under the scheme till August 2018 are still in hope and need of these benefits.
It is important to mention that the Women and Child Development (WCD) data released on September 13, shows that more than 37 lakh women have been benefited across the country under this scheme till September 13. The number of enrolled women has increased by three lakhs in just 13 days. The ministry also said that a fund of Rs 1,168.63 crore has been used so far and Uttar Pradesh has been ranked best with around 6 lakh beneficiaries out of more than 8 lakh enrolled women.
Discrepancies in RTI and Govt data
As per an RTI reply to IANS by the Women and Child Development ministry, a total amount of Rs 2,049 crore was approved by the government for 29 states and seven Union Territories. Uttar Pradesh has received the highest sanctioned amount of over Rs 336 crore from the government, reported NDTV.
The RTI has also revealed that in Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest population and highest fertility rate, a mere number of only 184 women have enrolled for PMMVY. Although, since the launch of the scheme in January 2017, 44 lakh women have been enrolled across the country in 717 districts until August.
Out of the total number of enrolled women, there are more than 34 lakh women who have received payment, but the women in Uttar Pradesh have been kept deprived of the government’s benefit. In a years time, not even a single woman has received any payment under the scheme, the reply shows.
According to a NITI Aayog report of 2016, UP ranks second in fertility rate (children per woman), Bihar which has topped the ranking has a fertility rate of 3.3. Surprisingly, both the state have crossed the ideal fertility rate as mentioned by the Centre, which is 2.4.
The highest beneficiary in Bengal
Among all the states, West Bengal has the highest number of women enrolled in the scheme, and also the highest number of women are benefited from it. Out of the 6.8 lakh, women enrolled, more than 5 lakh pregnant women are beneficiaries. The state was allocated Rs 102 crore from the Centre.
The state with the lowest number of enrollment is Punjab with only 7 women. Out of 7, just 5 women have been given the money. The state was allocated Rs 46.49 crore.
Tamil Nadu has recorded zero enrollment under the PMMVY scheme, and therefore there are no beneficiaries. However, the Centre has released more than Rs. 120 crore to the state in 2017-18.
About the scheme
The scheme was first launched in 2010 under the UPA-II government, as was called Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). The Modi government last year re-launched the scheme and re-named it as Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Under this scheme, the first time mothers from across the country are entitled to get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in a government hospital. The remaining cash incentive of Rs 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana.
Aadhaar mandatory for enrolling
However, the government has made Aadhaar compulsory for the women to enrol under the maternity scheme. Under this scheme, mothers above 19-years of age can apply. According to the scheme, partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth will also be provided.
According to the WCD Ministry, the cost for the maternity benefit programme is shared by the State and Centre.
The Logical Indian take
There is definitely a goof up in the two data that has been provided. This either means that the Ministry has failed to give a correct reply to the RTI, which shows gross negligence on part of the Ministy or it can also mean that IANS made a mistake in reporting. Whatever the problem might be, it definitely needs a clarification. The UP government should address the issue and give out the correct data.