States will pay Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia compensation to the families of those who died of coronavirus, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, reported Bar and Bench. The amount will be paid in the case of future Covid-19 fatalities as well.
The compensation will be paid by the states from their respective State Disaster Response Funds, the Union home ministry said in an affidavit.
“Compensation will be given to families of even those deceased who were involved in Covid relief operations or associated in preparedness activities,” the affidavit stated, according to NDTV. “The cause of death needs to be certified as Covid-19 in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines.”
Till Wednesday, India has recorded over 4.45 lakh Covid deaths since the pandemic broke out in January last year.
The affidavit added that the compensation amount will be channeled through the District Disaster Management Authority or respective district administrations. The state authorities will issue a form for the claim and specify the documents, including those certifying the cause of death, that are to to be submitted.
The district disaster management authorities will ensure that the process of claim, verification, sanction, and disbursal is people-friendly, said the Centre.
“All claims must be settled within 30 days of submission of the required documents, and disbursed through the Aadhaar-linked direct benefit transfer procedures,” it added.
District-level committees will be formed to look into grievances. The committee will propose remedial measures. “In case the decision of the committee is not in favour of the claimant, a clear reason for the same shall be recorded,” read the Centre’s affidavit.
On June 30, the Supreme Court had asked the National Disaster Management Authority to frame guidelines for ex-gratia compensation within six week. “The reasonable amount to be provided is left to wisdom of national authority,” the court had said.