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‘No money’ spent on PM’s maternity scheme in UP 

New Delhi, September 13

Not a rupee of government money has been spent on pregnant and lactating women enrolled under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-hyped maternity benefit scheme till August 2018 in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), which happens to have India’s highest fertility rate, an RTI query has revealed.

This, despite the fact that UP got the largest sanctioned amount of over Rs 336 crore from a total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 approved by the Centre for 29 states and seven Union Territories, the query revealed.

According to the reply by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry, only 184 women have enrolled in UP for the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) since its inception in January 2017 up to August 2018 — out of 44 lakh women enrolled across the country in 717 districts. 

While the number of beneficiaries stands at more than 34 lakh across the country, not a single woman in UP has received payment under the maternity scheme, the RTI reply showed.

According to a NITI Aayog report of 2016, UP has the second highest fertility rate (children per woman) of 3.1 after Bihar which has a fertility rate of 3.3. The ideal fertility rate as mentioned by the Centre is 2.4.

West Bengal has the highest number of women enrolled in the scheme — 6.8 lakh — of which more than 5 lakh lactating and first-time mothers have benefited. The Centre sanctioned Rs 102 crore for the state.

According to the WCD Ministry, the cost-sharing ratio for the maternity benefit programme between the Centre and states and those UTs with a legislature is 60:40. The Centre shares 90 per cent of the programme for the northeastern and Himalayan states and provides the full amount for UTs without legislature. 

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