Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said financial assistance of Rs. 2 lakh each will be given to poor families (with annual income up to Rs. 1.80 lakh) who lost members due to COVID-19.
The Chief Minister informed the state assembly about this during the Question Hour on the first day of the monsoon session that commenced in the state capital Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, Haryana isn't the only state to have announced an ex-gratia to the kin of COVID-19 victims.
It was Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government that had first made the announcement.
The Delhi government had announced financial compensation for families whose sole breadwinner died due to COVID-19.
The Delhi Chief Minister said that Rs 50,000 ex gratia will be given to the families that have had a death due to the viral infection.
"We may not be able to repair the loss of a loved one. But we can definitely help you out in this dark hour. Any family that has had a Covid death will get ex gratia of ₹50,000," Kejriwal had said.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on June 14, had announced that the state government will provide a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to families, under Below Poverty Line (BPL), who have lost an earning member to COVID-19.
“Many families have been distressed due to the death of earning members owing to COVID-19, the families are undergoing financial crisis. Taking cognisance of the same, the state government has decided it will give Rs 1 lakh to families living below the poverty line that have lost an earning member to COVID-19,” Yediyurappa had said.
He had added that the scheme would cost the state around Rs 250-300 crores and said that it would benefit 25,000-30,000 families. "Our government stands in full solidarity with the families affected by the pandemic and will extend all possible support to ensure their well-being,” he said.
The Assam government last month announced that it will give Rs 2.5 lakh each to all widows, whose husbands died of COVID-19, if their family income is less than Rs 5 lakh. Under the new ‘Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Widows Support Scheme’, the beneficiaries of ‘Orunodoi’ and ‘Widow Pension’ schemes are also eligible for the one-time financial assistance.
“Many precious lives were lost due to #COVID19, leaving a number of families in distress. In our sincere effort to provide some relief to women whose husbands died of the disease, Rs 2.5 lakh will be given to such eligible widows as one time grant," Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted. As per the scheme, the beneficiary’s husband should have been a COVID-positive patient at the time of the death and it should be certified by the State-Level COVID Death Audit Board.
“The beneficiary must belong to a low-income family having an annual income up to Rs 5 lakh," the scheme details mentioned. It, however, stated that widows of government servants will not be covered under this scheme as they get the family pension as per usual norms.
Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has announced Rs 10 lakh financial aid for family members of scribes who died due to COVID-19. Praising the efforts of journalists, he said, "During such challenging and testing times, all journalists and media workers have risked their lives to bring to us relevant and authentic information. They have worked 24x7 which is commendable."
Besides, many other states have announced ex-gratia payments to the kin of those in medical services and other government jobs. Also, several governments have offered assistance to children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19.
Centre must pay compensation to the family of those who succumbed to COVID-19: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court had in June ruled that the Centre must pay compensation to the family of those who succumbed to COVID-19. However, the top court said the amount of compensation will be decided by the government. It had given the NDMA, or National Disaster Management Authority, six weeks to decide on the amount and frame the required guidelines.
"We direct NDMA to form guidelines for ex-gratia compensation for family members of persons who succumbed to Covid, as per minimum standards of relief," a two-member bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah said.
"What reasonable amount is to be provided is left to the wisdom of the authority," the judges added, suggesting that the amount could be fixed keeping in the mind funds and resources available.
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