Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi has written to all the party Chief Ministers to ensure that all eligible pregnant women and lactating mothers received Rs 6,000 as envisioned under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. After ignoring the 2013 Act for more than three years, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government introduced the maternity benefit scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) -- in 2017.
Slamming the central government, she said, "The PMMVY reduced the payment amount from Rs 6,000 to Rs 5,000 and also restricts the benefits to just one child per woman in violation of the NFSA."
"I would urge you to critically review the cumbersome requirements that significantly reduce the coverage of the pregnant women and lactating mothers under the scheme," she said in her letter dated November 26.
The good performance of the NFSA in Congress-run states would help the party take up the issue with greater strength at the national level, she added.
She has written the letter to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.