Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit program run by the government of India. It was introduced in 2017 and is implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth. It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
In 2013, the scheme was brought under the National Food Security Act, 2013 to implement the provision of cash maternity benefit of ₹6,000 (US$84) stated in the Act. Presently, the scheme is implemented on a pilot basis in 53 selected districts and proposals are under consideration to scale it up to 200 additional ‘high burden districts’ in 2015–16. Previously the pregnant women were given 6000 but in PMMVY they receive 5000 in three installments.
The scheme, rechristened Maternity benefits programme is set to cover the entire nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 2017 New Year’s Eve speech, announced that the scheme will be scaled up to cover 650 districts of the country. The announcement assumes significance as India accounts for 17% of all maternal deaths in the world.
The country’s maternal mortality rate is pegged at 130 per 100,000 live births, whereas infant mortality is estimated at 43 per 1,000 live births. Among the primary causes of high maternal and infant mortality are poor nutrition and inadequate medical care during pregnancy and childbirth.
Originally, all pregnant women of 19 years of age and above were eligible for conditional cash transfer benefits of ₹5,000 (US$70) to paid in three installments, except those who receive paid maternity leave. After the implementation of National Food Security Act the amount has been revised to ₹6,000 (US$84) to be paid in two installments of ₹3,000 (US$42) each. The cash transfers under the Scheme are subject to the following conditions: