NDMA recommends Rs 50k ex gratia payment for COVID deaths; to come out of State Disaster Response Funds

THE Central Government Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended an ex gratia payment of  INR 50,000 to the families of those who were certified to have died of COVID-19.

Significantly, the decision says that the ex-gratia assistance to families affected by COVID-19 deaths will continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in the future phases of the pandemic.

The amount will be paid from the State Disaster Response Fund.

The decision of the NDMA came in response to the Supreme Court’s direction on June 30 asking it to frame guidelines for ex-gratia compensation for COVID deaths within six weeks. It had left the amount to the discretion of the NDMA.

The top court had said the NDMA had failed to perform its duty by not recommending minimum standards of relief to be provided to the families of those who had died of COVID-19. The NDMA is headed by the Prime Minister.

India has officially recorded over 4.45 lakh Covid-related deaths since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.

As per Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 the National Authority is required to recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster, which includes:

  • the minimum requirements to be provided in the relief camps in relation to shelter, food, drinking water, medical cover and sanitation;
  • the special provisions to be made for widows and orphans;
  • ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life as also assistance on account of damage to houses and for restoration of means of livelihood;
  • such other relief as may be necessary.