Explained: How the Karnataka government plans to pay Covid-19 compensation to relatives of victims

With 37,763 people in Karnataka who have died from Covid-19 (as of September 28) since the start of the pandemic, the government is now “in the process” of verifying and disbursing ex gratia goes to the parents of the victims.

What did the government of Karnataka promise as compensation?

The state government of Karnataka, during BS Yediyurappa’s tenure as chief minister, announced a death benefit of Rs 1 lakh each to families below the poverty line (BPL) who have lost their salaried member. because of the pandemic. But it has not yet been disbursed. While the announcement was made on June 14 by the CM, a decree specifying guidelines for claiming the same were issued on July 8.

What do state government guidelines say?

Guidelines issued by the government of Karnataka, which government officials said were also based on recommendations made by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to the Union Ministry of Interior, beneficiaries were required to provide a “positive Covid-19 report from a recognized laboratory” which should have been uploaded to the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) portal, with a patient number, among other things, to claim compensation.

However, families in which deaths occurred at home without patients having undergone a Covid-19 test or being admitted to hospitals for Covid-like symptoms were not considered eligible for compensation.

In addition, the state government has clarified that the ex gratia amount of Rs 1 lakh will only be available for one person in each BPL family, even if multiple deaths have occurred.

“We (the government of Karnataka) decided to see the family as a unit. The fact that people under the age of 18 would not be the “sole breadwinner” of a family was seen as clarifying that the scheme would not cover victims under the age of 18 ”, Tushar Girinath, Secretary Head of Revenue Department (Disaster Management) Narrated Indian express.

What does the revised decree mentioning the amount of compensation for the Center say?

The revised ordinance, taking into account the recommendations of the NDMA addressed to the Ministry of the Interior, results in enhanced coverage of the compensation scheme for relatives of Covid-19 victims in Karnataka.

This would give BPL families the right to claim Rs 1.5 lakh as full compensation in the event of the death of their sole breadwinner due to Covid-19. While Rs 1 lakh will be paid through the Sandhya Suraksha program by the state government through district administrations, Rs 50,000 will be paid through SDRF funds in accordance with central government guidelines.

This means that the parents of all the victims, regardless of their financial status (BPL, APL), their age or their role in the family (sole breadwinner or not) will be able to claim Rs 50,000 each for each death in the family. due to Covid. -19.

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“However, documents, as specified previously, to prove that the death was due to Covid-19 and to certify the legal heir to whom the compensation will be credited, should be submitted to the authorities. After verification, the process of unblocking the amount will be launched, ”said the income secretary of Karnataka.

Why is the compensation distribution process delayed in Karnataka?

Even though the government order announcing the ex gratia amount of Rs 1 lakh was issued on July 8, the process could not be started until September 23 due to “procedural delays” as stated. Minister of Health and Family Welfare K Sudhakar in the State Legislature the last time. the week.

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Elaborating on this, Girinath said that delays in declaring legal heirs and a possible “conflict between plans announced by state and central governments” were obstacles for the state government in completing the process.

However, the distribution was symbolically started by Revenue Minister R Ashoka as he handed checks of Rs 1 lakh each to 16 BPL families in Bengaluru last Thursday. The minister announced that the government had so far received 7,729 applications.