The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued an order for ex gratia of Rs 50,000 for next to kin of those who died of COVID-19.
The ministry, in its letter to the chief secretaries of all states, said that the amount would be disbursed from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
This comes as Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner, Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking an ex gratia compensation for those family members, who died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The central government had informed the top court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) recommended an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to be paid to families of those who died of COVID-19 including those who involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities subject to cause of death being certified as COVID-19.
In an affidavit filed before the top court the Centre had said NDMA proposed the amount, which has to be distributed by state governments from the SDRF.
The MHA, in its letter, said that 'Rs 50,000 per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities, subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19 as per guidelines jointly issued by the ministry of health and family welfare and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)'.
The MHA also said that this ex gratia assistance will be applicable from the date of first COVID-19 case reported in the country and will continue till de-notification of COVID-19 as a disaster or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
The Centre on March 14 this year has declared COVID-19 as a 'notified disaster'.
As per Union health ministry, India's death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 4,47,373.