Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday asked the party’s Chief Ministers in four states and a UT to ensure that every eligible pregnant woman and lactating mother receives a payment of at least Rs 6,000, as envisioned under the National Food Security Act.
In a letter to the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry, Gandhi said the Central Government had not acted on this provision envisioned in the Act and said the party will be able to take up the issue at the national level once it improves the performance of the Food Security scheme in party-ruled states.
“As you are aware, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 promises cash transfer of Rs 6,000 to all pregnant women and lactating mothers, excluding those who are already receiving similar benefits from elsewhere. After failing for more than three years to act on this, the Central government introduced the maternity benefit scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in 2017. The PMMVY has reduced the payment amount from Rs 6,000 to Rs 5,000. In addition, it restricts the benefits to just one child per woman in violation of the NFSA,” Gandhi said in the letter.