New maternity scheme soon

It will help working women avoid wage loss during pregnancy

Under the Conditional Maternity Benefit scheme, which is open to women from both BPL (below poverty line) and APL (above poverty line) families, Rs 4,000 will be extended to every pregnant and lactating mother to compensate for their loss of wages or salary as the case might be.

However, those working in government organisations and public sector units (PSUs) will not be covered under the scheme as government health schemes are available to them.
“The aim is to improve the health and nutrition status of pregnant and lactating mothers and infants, and an amount of Rs 4,500 crore has already been allocated under the 11th Five Year Plan for the scheme,” Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told reporters here.

The money meant for each beneficiary, who will be registered with an Anganwadi centre, will be given in three installments — Rs 1,500 in each installment right up to six months after the birth of the child.

“We have sent a note to the Expenditure Finance Committee for its approval, and once we get its nod the proposal will be placed before the Cabinet,” Tirath said.

The ministry will also set up a special cell for dealing with atrocities committed against women and children from the northeast.“We are concerned with the recent incidents of assault on girls from the northeast, and within a couple of days we should work out a detailed action plan,” Tirath said.

The ministry also proposed a scheme for the empowerment of adolescent girls by merging two existing schemes — Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls and Kishori Shakti Yojana.

A project worth Rs 3.8 lakh per annum is proposed under the new Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA) with an additional component of supplementary nutrition at the rate of Rs 5 per beneficiary a day for out-of-school girls.
An integrated child protection scheme, with an allocation of Rs 1,073 crore for the remaining part of the 11th Five Year Plan, will also be implemented.

Under the scheme, child welfare officers will be posted in police stations across the country.

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