The Bihar government has paid Rs 4 lakh for kin of each of the 8,849 persons who succumbed to COVID-19. The compensation is estimated at Rs 353.96 crores. Bihar is the only state to announce and pay this amount for each COVID death.
In October, the Supreme Court had approved an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to the family members of those who died of COVID, as suggested by the Centre.
Rs 4 Lakh Kin
"Bihar is the first and only government which announced a payment of Rs 4 lakh for the kin of people who died of Covid,"
Sanjay Jha, State Minister for Water Resources and Information and Public Relations, told Economic Times.
He added that in the beginning, the money was paid from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Later it was given from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF). According to the health department of the Bihar Government, there were 9,663 deaths due to COVID in the state till Saturday, November 27.
The State Government has already made payments to the families of 3,727 persons dying of COVID from the CM Relief Fund and money has been released for the kin of 6,918 persons dying of pandemic from the SDRF. Out of these, the payment has been made to 5,122 persons. This takes the total to 10,645 persons being paid the COVID compensation, more than the state list of 9,663 COVID deaths.
'Most Non-BJP States Lagging Behind In Disbursing COVID Relief'
The Centre told the Supreme Court on Saturday, November 27, that most opposition-ruled states, barring Delhi, have either not disbursed Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of COVID victims or have an abysmally low disbursal rate.
According to statistics provided in the Centre's affidavit, Delhi has led the states in disbursal of compensation to COVID victims kin. It recorded 31,017 deaths, received 25,358 claims applications and has already disbursed Rs 99.63 crores to 19,926 relatives of COVID victims.
Meghalaya also has a good record in this matter so far. The state recorded 1,318 deaths and received 996 claims applications, all of which has been processed and ex-gratia disbursed.
The bigger states, however, have a poor record. Maharashtra, which recorded 1,40,807 deaths, has not yet opened application forms for the submission of claims. Hence it has not been able to disburse a single penny to the kin of COVID victims.
Kerala, which registered 38,737 COVID deaths, has so far received 6,116 applications claiming relief. But no money has been disbursed so far as there is no clarity on who is the next of kin of the deceased.