During the calendar year 2020, 2,78,232 women from Gujarat were provided maternity benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani provided the information in Rajya Sabha while replying to a question raised by Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani.
According to the statement of the minister, the Government implements PMMVY with the objectives of (i) providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive so that woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first child; and (ii) providing cash incentive to improve health seeking behaviour amongst the pregnant women & lactating mothers.
Nathwani wanted to know about the total number of women beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna (PMMVY) in the country in the year 2020 and measures taken by Government in this regard for the welfare of working women.
The minister also stated that the Government has carried out amendment in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 in 2017. The key amendments include increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks; extension of 12 weeks of paid maternity leave to ‘commissioning/adopting mothers’; mandatory provision for crèche in respect of establishments having 50 or more employees, including four (4) visits a day to the crèche by the woman; depending upon the nature of work assigned to a woman, provision for work from home after availing of the maternity benefit for such period and on such conditions as the employer and the woman may mutually agree; and mandatory intimation, in writing & electronic form, to every woman at the time of her initial appointment conveying benefits under the Act.