Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Raj today faced some testing moments during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha when some members expressed dissatisfaction over her replies and sought the Chair’s intervention.
As the Minister was replying to queries, some members said they did not receive satisfactory answers to their questions raised on issues pertaining to welfare of women.
Raj was seen being guided and prompted by some fellow Ministers while trying to encourage her to reply to supplementaries by members.
Some members sought Chairman Hamid Ansari’s intervention, who said they could write to him as per the laid down procedures in case they were not satisfied with the answers.
Ansari told the Minister that complete information should be provided in the written replies, to which she said the same could not be provided as information has not been received from states concerned.
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“There has to be accuracy in the answers,” the Chairman told the Minister, who, in turn, replied saying, “information from some states has not been received”.
Later, however, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar also had a word with the Minister of State. He was also seen expressing his displeasure with the officers of the Ministry concerned, who were accompanying the Minister.
On the issue of whether the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), a conditional maternity benefit scheme, is being universally applicable across the country, the Minister said the scheme is being implemented in 53 districts of the country under a pilot project and guidelines are being framed.
“We want to launch the scheme across the country and guidelines are being framed in this regard by the Ministry,” she said.
In her written reply, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi stated that “the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) has been implemented in 53 districts. The Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP) has been made applicable to all the districts of the country wef fJanuary 1, 2017, as announced by the government on December 31, 2016.”