Financial assistance still eludes families of poor Covid victims

Nitya - Article image size

Thodupuzha: The Kerala Government has failed to provide the financial assistance that it had promised to the kin of Covid-19 victims hailing from the BPL (Below Poverty Line) families.

The authorities earlier announced a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per month for three years to relatives of such Covid victims. The Chief Minister doled out the promise soon after a cabinet meeting on October 13, 2021. He had said the amount would be transferred to bank accounts within 30 days of submitting applications and that none would face any difficulty in getting the financial aid.

However, the government aid was extended to the families just once during the 14-month period after that. The applicants, for the first and last time, received Rs 5,000 in September last.

The village officer who received the applications or the district administration officials have no information on the matter. The Health Department, too, is in the dark, regarding the source of payment. In September, it was paid out of the treasury account. However, the Finance department has received no further direction on the extension of the financial aid.

“There is no clarity over who will meet the expense,” sources said.

A total of 474 beneficiaries received Rs 5,000 in September. A sum of Rs 23.7 lakh was then spent out of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

Following the announcement last year, the Government received over 20,000 applications but approved only 5,969. However, the Finance department is yet to give approval.

The Government had also initially failed to extend Rs 50,000 each as ex-gratia, promised to the kin of victims who died due to Covid. Finally, the amount was distributed following the strict direction of the Supreme Court.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.