Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to increase the compensation for families of those who died of COVID-19 from Rs 50,000 to Rs 4 lakh, according to an official statement.
Gehlot said many families lost their earning members and exhausted savings of their lifetime to pay hospital bills and Rs 50,000 was not enough to help them cope.
"As a welfare state, it is our shared responsibility to look after our citizens during times of need. Our state has started many welfare schemes to help people tide over these difficult times. We expect that the central government will also share this responsibility," the chief minister said in his letter.
Gehlot said the COVID-19 pandemic badly affected the majority of the country's population. People died untimely deaths, some were forced to migrate and businesses were shut down.
Families lost their earning members and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them on treatment in private hospitals during the pandemic robbed them of savings of their lifetime and pushed them into huge debts. In such difficult times, the modest amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia compensation is insufficient, he said.
Hence, the Centre "should implement its earlier order notified on 14th March, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, where the Centre made a commitment to disburse ex gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh for the deceased person due to COVID-19," he said.
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