The Centre cannot say it has no role to play in giving compensation to the families of those who died of COVID-19 and the payment cannot be left entirely to the States, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister, while speaking to reporters, said how much financial help can be provided by the Central government in relation to the compensation payment has to be seriously considered.
Mr Vijayan was responding to a query seeking his view on the Centre's submission before the Supreme Court, earlier in the day, that Rs 50,000 has been fixed as compensation for the families of those who died of COVID-19 and that the assistance would be provided by States from their State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
He said that while the States cannot entirely distance themselves from providing the assistance, a major share of the same ought to come from the Central government.
The Centre cannot say it has no role to play in providing the assistance, he said and added that the Central government has to be ready to provide the necessary help.
The Centre told the Supreme Court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the families of those who died of COVID-19.
It said the compensation would also be given to the families of those who died of the virus due to involvement in COVID-19 relief operations or activities associated with the preparedness for dealing with the pandemic.
The government said the NDMA issued the guidelines on September 11 in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court given on June 30 wherein it had directed the authority to recommend guidelines for compensation assistance.
The assistance would not be limited to families affected by COVID-19 deaths in the first and second wave of pandemic but would continue in future cases arising out of the pandemic as well, the authority has said.
The compensation would be provided by States from the SDRF and all claims would be settled within 30 days of submission of required documents, and disbursed through Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer procedures, it added.