As of 2011, national IMR stood at 44 in 2011 with rural areas faring worse

With India unlikely to achieve the millennium development goal (MDG) of 28 per 1,000 live births by 2015, the Centre has approved a monetary incentive for States to encourage them to further bring down neonatal deaths.

The Ministry of Finance has approved the release of incentive grant-in-aid for reduction in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) during 2012-13. The Rs. 1,500-crore incentive will be given to the States that have made impressive reduction in the IMR between 2009 and 2011. This has been done on the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission.

Despite making huge achievements, India is unlikely to reach the international target of reducing infant mortality rate, set by the United Nations in 2000, considering that in 2011 the national IMR stood at 44, with the picture in rural areas worse than in urban settings.

Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland account for 50 per cent of the total grant. Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu account for another Rs. 400 crore, and the remaining money is distributed among the rest of the States and Union Territories.

Manipur to get top funding

Manipur, with an IMR of 11 per 1,000 live births, will receive the highest amount of Rs. 458 crore, followed by Tamil Nadu, that gets Rs. 168 crore. The IMR of Tamil Nadu is 22.

Among the smaller States, Meghalaya will get Rs. 6.2 crore, Mizoram Rs. 3.13 crore, Nagaland will get Rs. 159 crore, Sikkim Rs. 150 crore and Tripura Rs. 84 crore.

As for big States, Maharashtra will get Rs. 133 crore, Punjab Rs. 106 crore, Karnataka will receive Rs. 53 crore, West Bengal Rs. 26 crore and Uttarakhand Rs. 42 crore.

The grant is payable to the States based on the data available in the Sample Registration System Survey of 2009 and 2012.

Only 11 States and Union Territories have achieved the MDG as far as IMR is concerned. Of these, only three bigger States — Maharashtra, Kerala and Delhi — have been able to achieve the target.

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