Current Affairs

Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP) : An overview

What is MBP

MBP is a scheme that provides cash incentives to pregnant and lactating women.

Why do we need MBP?

  • Women from poor and vulnerable sections when they give birth to babies are weak and undernourished. This has various ramification on their health of baby and its mother.
  • When an undernourished women gives birth to baby, poor nutrition starts in-utero, and it extends throughout the life cycle, particularly in women. This needs to be prevented.
  • Owing to economic and social distress many women continue to work to earn a living for their family right upto the last days of their pregnancy.

Furthermore, women resume working soon after childbirth, even through their bodies might not permit it, thus preventing their bodies from fully recovering on one hand, and also impending their ability to exclusively breastfeed their young infant in the first six months.


To address the above issues, Ministry of Women and Child Development, in accordance with the provisions of Section 4(b) of National Food Security Act, formulated a scheme for pregnant and lactating mothers called Maternity Benefit Programme – a conditional cash transfer scheme.

The Scheme provides cash incentives to pregnant and lactating women

  • For the wage loss so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery;
  • To improve her health and nutrition during the period of pregnancy and lactation;
  • To breastfeed the child during the first six months of the birth, which is very vital for the development of the child.


Under the scheme, all Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who are in regular employment with the Central Government or State Governments or Public Sector Undertakings or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being are eligible.

The cashincentive of Rs.6,000/- is payable in three instalments for the first two live births at the following stages:

It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and the cost sharing between Centre and States is 60:40 for all the States and UTs (with legislature), 90:10 for NER and Himalayan States and 100% GoI share for UTs without legislatures.

Expansion of MBP will have huge impact on the PW&LM as it will not only provide them compensation for the wage loss but will also provide them adequate nutrition and rest before and after delivery. Mothers will have sufficient time to breastfeed the child during first six months of the birth. Resultantly, it is expected that it will reduce mother mortality rate, IMR, under-nutrition and its adverse effects.


Category – GS 2

Source – PIB