Kerala govt to give Rs 5,000/month for BPL families of COVID-19 deceased

Kerala govt to give Rs 5,000/month for BPL families of COVID-19 deceased
Family members wearing PPE kit, carry a COVID-19 victim at a cremation ground in Guwahati. File photo/PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said monetary relief of Rs 5,000 per month would be provided to dependents of COVID-19 victims from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families for three years. This relief measure is in addition to the financial assistance they have already received on account of the pandemic death in the family.

The CM, in a press release, stated the decision to extend monthly aid was taken in a Cabinet meeting. It was also decided that the additional relief would be made available only to BPL dependents of the deceased.

This relief would also be provided to BPL families of those who might die due to COVID-19 in the coming days, the CM said.

This additional relief would not make such families ineligible to receive other relief packages under social welfare schemes or avail welfare funds or pensions, he said in the release.

Deaths outside state or country too considered

Significantly,  Kerala-based families of those who died outside the state or country would also be eligible for the above-mentioned solatium. The income of the deceased would not be taken into account if they meet the BPL norms, the release said.

However, if there is a government employee or income tax payer in such families, then they would be ineligible for the new relief package and village officers have been directed to ensure such persons are not considered when deciding the applications seeking the additional assistance, the CM said.

He also said that dependents should submit the applications in a simple one-page form, for which the District Collectors and Revenue authorities concerned have been tasked to take the necessary steps.

The CM further said that applicants should not be called to the office to decide their requests and the benefit must be paid within a maximum of 30 working days from receipt of the application.

The relief package of Rs 5,000 per month will be paid as a direct benefit transfer from the first month of payment till the next three years and the funds for the same would be taken from the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund till the required amount is allocated in the budget, the CM said in the release.

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