The funds for disaster relief would be exhausted if compensation of ₹4 lakh is paid to all those who died of COVID-19 as said by the Centre to the Supreme Court of India. According to the Centre, compensation can be mandated only for natural disasters by the disaster management law therefore a compensation could not be provided for those who died of COVID-19. In response to a plea seeking minimum standards of relief and ex-gratia payment to COVID-19 deceased, the statement of the Centre came in, according to a report in India Today.
According to the Centre, it is beyond States’ budget to pay compensation for lakhs of COVID-19 victim due to increased health expenses and low tax revenue. The Centre reportedly added by saying that it is beyond the fiscal affordability of the state governments to pay compensation for all those deceased due to COVID-19, because if the entire SDRF funds get consumed on ex-gratia for COVID-19 victims, there may not be sufficient funds for States to provide various essential medical and other supplies as COVID response, or to take care of other disasters like cyclone floods etc.
The earlier judgment of the Apex court to keep away from executive policies was once again reminded by the Centre and said that the Judiciary cannot decide on behalf of the Centre, as said in the report.
Since the pandemic began last year, around 3.86 lack people have died of the COVID-19 virus according to the Union Health Ministry data and the fatalities are likely to increase.