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Punjab CM Channi Urges PM Modi to Give Rs 4 Lakh Ex-gratia to Kin of Covid Victims

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of those that died of COVID-19, saying mere Rs 50,000 compensation is inadequate. Channi wrote to Prime Minister Modi, saying his authorities is able to contribute 25 per cent of the ex gratia amlount.

“Wrote a letter to PM@narendramodi ji & urged him to implement his earlier order of disbursing ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of those that died of Covid-19. I really feel, mere Rs 50,000 compensation is inadequate,” Channi tweeted Wednesday evening, tagging his letter to Modi. In his tweet, Channi mentioned, “my government is ready to contribute 25 per cent share under this scheme.”

“We demand that the central authorities implement its earlier order notified on date 14th March, 2020, (33-4/2020-NDM-1) issued by the Ministry of Dwelling Affairs, the place the federal government dedicated to disburse ex gratia fee of Rs 4 lakh per deceased,” Channi said in his letter to the PM. The Central government later revised this notification and reduced the ex gratia payment to Rs 50,000, he added.

“We feel at such times of distress it is imperative that special consideration should be made to fulfil the earlier commitment of Rs 4 lakh by the government,” Channi wrote. He talked about, “we perceive that State Catastrophe Response Fund norms require 75 per cent of the Rs 4 lakh, which is Rs 3 lakh to be paid by the central authorities and remaining 25 per cent, which is Rs 1 lakh, to be the share of the state.”

“We commit to uphold the state share of the Rs 4 lakh ex gratia payment,” he mentioned in his letter. He mentioned as a welfare state, it’s our duty to take care of our residents in misery. “Our state has began many welfare schemes to assist folks tide by way of the tough occasions. We count on that the central authorities will even share this duty,” he wrote.

On September 11, 2021, the Government of India had submitted a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court mentioning that it will pay Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to the families of those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic through the SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund). Under the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) the compensation amount is shared by the Centre and the state in 75 percent — 25 per cent (ratio) respectively, Channi wrote in his letter.

He mentioned that COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the majority of the population in this country and many people have died untimely while businesses have shut down and people have been forced to migrate. Families have lost their earning members and the out-of-pocket treatment expenses incurred in private hospitals during the pandemic have brought them to the streets. Families have lost all their savings and are in huge debts, Channi further wrote.

He said at such a difficult time, the modest amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia compensation is “insufficient”. The federal government in its response to the Supreme Courtroom has argued that giving (Rs) 4 lakh compensation would depart the state with inadequate capital to cope with Covid-19. Whereas the (central) authorities continues to gather taxes by way of rising petrol costs and supply tax rest to corporates however denied such aid to residents, wrote Channi.

Notably, earlier within the day, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi demanded that the federal government present credible knowledge on Covid deaths within the nation and pay a compensation of Rs 4 lakh every to households of those that misplaced their lives resulting from coronavirus.

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