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How true are government claims about the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana?

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The government published an infographic that makes claims about the performance of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Here is a fact-check.

The BJP government published an infographic about its achievements on maternal health. The infographic was published on the 48-months portal and makes four claims about the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). This article is a fact check of the claims.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana_infographic

What is the PMMVY?

The first claim is that the PMMVY is ‘providing economic support to pregnant women and lactating mothers’.

The Government approved pan-India implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a centrally sponsored conditional cash transfer scheme in May. As per the information available,  the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing PMMVY with the objectives of

  • providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first child; and
  • the cash incentive provided to improve health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM). 

While the total number of beneficiaries enrolled for the scheme is 56.29 lakh as of December 2018, the number of beneficiaries who got paid the money are 46.54 lakh. A similar program existed during the UPA, known as the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) was also implemented during the UPA. JSY was seen to have given positive results.

Claim: Providing economic support to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Fact: The PMMVY scheme is for providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first child. Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, similar schemes existed during the UPA as well and the PMMVY is applicable during the birth of the first child only.

What is the amount of cash incentive being given to pregnant women?

The second claim is that ‘cash incentive of 6000 rupees to the pregnant/lactating women to help her recover’.

According to an answer in Lok Sabha ‘the maternity benefit under PMMVY is available to the eligible beneficiaries for first living child of family. Normally, the first pregnancy of a woman exposes her to new kinds of challenges and stress factors. Hence, the scheme provides support to the mother for the safe delivery and immunization of her first child. Under the scheme Rs. 5,000  is provided to the eligible beneficiary in three installments. The eligible beneficiary also receives the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards maternity benefit under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman gets Rs.6,000’.

Claim: Cash incentive of 6000 rupees to the pregnant/lactating women to help her recover.
Fact: The eligible beneficiaries of the scheme receive Rs. 5000 in 3 installments. An additional Rs. 1000 given to the beneficiary under the Janani Suraksha Yojana, which was launched in 2005 during the UPA.  Hence, the claim is MISLEADING.

Is the scheme ensuring timely check-ups?

The third claim is that it is ‘ensuring timely check-ups’.  One of the three conditions of being eligible for the scheme is that the woman must have received at least on ante-natal check-up (after 6 months of pregnancy). The other two are early registration of pregnancy and registration of the child birth & vaccination of the child. The money is paid in three installments depending on the beneficiary meeting the criteria. This guarantees one check-up. The entire scheme of check-ups and other criteria is very similar to the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).

Claim: Ensuring timely check-ups.
Fact: One of the preconditions of the scheme is that the woman must have received at least on ante-natal check-up (after 6 months of pregnancy). This mandates only one check-up 6 months after the pregnancy and no continuity. And also, almost all the criteria are similar to the UPA scheme Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana. Hence, the claim that PMMVY ensures timely check-ups is MISLEADING.

How many women are benefitting every year?

The fourth claim is that ‘more than 50 lakh women expected to benefit every year’. The maternity benefits under PMMVY are available to the eligible beneficiaries for first living child of family. About 51.70 lakh beneficiaries are covered annually under PMMVY. However, it has to be noted that this is the expected number of beneficiaries every year and the actual number of women who received the amount could be higher or lower than 50 lakh.

Claim: More than 50 lakh women expected to benefit every year.
Fact: About 51.70 lakh beneficiaries are covered annually under PMMVY. Hence, this is the number of people covered and not the number of people might receive the cash transfer. Hence, the claim that the scheme is expected to benefit more than 50 lakh is TRUE.

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

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