REALISING THAT relief amount given to family members of deceased of natural calamity is not enough, the State Government is contemplating to revise it. A high-powered committee, headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh, comprising Revenue Minister Kamal Patel and Finance Minister, is dealing with the issue.
The State Government came in for criticism from the Congress over the issue. The Congress, which wanted greater relief amount in the wake of floods in State capital in the recent past, lashed out at the BJP Government for not increasing the relief amount.
The main opposition’s stand was that though the Government doubled the amount given to member of Legislative Assembly under the MLA Local Development Area (MLALAD) Scheme in just 15 months, it had failed to increase the amount of relief given to those affected by natural calamities.
As per the provisions of RBC 6 (4), family members of those who die in natural calamity get a sum of Rs 50,000. The amount given in case of death has not been revised ever since the BJP Government came to power.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, officials of Revenue said some rounds of meetings of the high-powered committee were already held and final decision about revision of relief money is likely to be taken soon.
Though the BJP Government has increased the amount of relief in case of destruction of house and damage of crop by making certain amendments in the RBC 6 (4), it has failed to increase the money in case of death in natural calamity.
Contrary to this, the amount given in the MLALAD to MLAs has increased from Rs 40 lakh per annum to Rs 80 lakh per annum. The amount of ex-gratia was last increased in July 2002 from Rs 8,000 to Rs 50,000. The amount given by the Madhya Pradesh Government is far less than what other governments in such conditions.
The Andhra Pradesh Government gave a financial assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh to the families of those who died in the recent floods, other state government like Haryana etc are paying an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh. The Congress has also demanded compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed in floods. Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson K K Mishra recently said that this amount should be besides the compensation being given for damage to crops and property.