Naveen shows little ‘MAMATA’ to Modi’s ‘Matru Vandana’

PMMVY scored 1 crore beneficiaries across the states recently. But Odisha has none as it is yet to implement the scheme. PMMVY has become a casualty to one-upmanship. But Tamil Nadu shows the synergy way

Bhubaneswar: In the race of one-upmanship over schemes, Naveen-led BJD government has almost junked Modi-led NDA government’s maternity benefit assistance programme popularly known as Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).

The PMMVY, which recently scored a massive one crore beneficiaries across the states, has not a single beneficiary from Odisha. And the big reason is Odisha is yet to implement the fully central funded programme. PMVVY was launched in 2017. The significant fact is Odisha along with Telangana are the only 2 states in country that are yet to give a nod to this central maternity assistance scheme.

As a sequel to one-upmanship over Ayushman Bharat and Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, Odisha government laid emphasis on its own Mamata Yojana launched in 2011.  Terming Mamata a superior scheme than PMMVY, Naveen government didn’t show any interest towards implementing PMMVY in Odisha.

Notably, the argument of Odisha government is as Mamata offers Rs 6,000 direct assistance to expectant and lactating mothers for two child births, even for a 3rd birth for Primitive Tribal women,  PMMVY extends the direct benefit for first child only.

However, it’s Tamil Nadu that shows the way. Incidentally, TN has been the first State in the country to have such an assistance programme for expectant mothers since 1987. The cash benefit provided by TN government stood high at Rs 14,000 along with Rs 4,000 worth nutritional kit to pregnant mothers for the first two pregnancies.

Despite this, the TN government has implemented the fully centrally funded PMMVY and a whopping over 2.81 lakh expectant mothers have availed the benefits till date in the State. Since the two schemes are to run concurrently, it’s the BPL beneficiary who will be the ultimate benefactor.

Consider how synergising Mamata and PMMVY would have worked wonder for the expectant BPL mothers in Odisha.

As per National Sample Survey (NSS) report, giving birth to child in a public hospital in Odisha is costliest in the country, except north-eastern States and Goa. The average medical expenses per child birth during stay at hospitals in urban Government hospitals is 4th costliest in the country.

The reason: Average total medical expenditure borne per childbirth by a delivering mother during stay at even rural Government hospitals in Odisha is one-and-a -half times more than the national average expenditure.

As per the report, average total medical expenditure incurred by an expectant woman during stay at rural Government hospitals in Odisha is Rs 2,598. In contrast, the national average is Rs 1,589, and the estimated expenses in Chhattisgarh is Rs 1,551 and Delhi Rs 1,331.

In urban Odisha, the rate chart has been estimated at Rs 3,008 against the national average of Rs 2,114. However, the expenses in urban areas of Chhattisgarh, Punjab and West Bengal are higher than Odisha.

The report’s startling disclosure is child birth expenses at private hospitals in rural and urban Odisha are almost 7-times higher, though it is much below the national average.