'Which is true…': Shashi Tharoor jabs centre over Covid compensation numbers

Apr 01, 2022 04:00 PM IST

MoS Health and Welfare minister Dr Bharati Pawar in Lok Sabha discussed the ICMR research on Friday.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday took a jab at the government over 'discrepancies' between official figures of coronavirus-related deaths in some states and the number of applications for financial compensation. The Kerala MP highlighted BJP-ruled Gujarat, which he said had officially recorded 10,094 Covid deaths but had approved compensation in nearly 70,000 cases.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor 
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor 

"In today's LS Question Hour, ICMR research on covid was discussed. No one raised the discrepancy between official figures of Covid deaths and numbers claiming ex-gratia payments, eg Gujarat says it had 10,094 deaths but has approved 68,370 claims. Which is true?" the Congress leader tweeted.

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Last year the Supreme Court had said that since Covid had been notified as a 'disaster' under the Disaster Management Act, it was mandatory for the government to provide financial compensation to the families of those who had lost people to the disease. The court pointed out that Section 12 of the law said it was the legal duty of the union government to recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief.

The apex court clarified that all Covid deaths - whether inside or outside a hospital - that occur within 30 days of a positive RT-PCR test would be entitled to compensation.

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Following the order, in September 2021, the union government had recommended 50,000 as ex-gratia for the families of those who died of Covid-19. It had clarified that the amount must be distributed by the states from the State Disaster Relief Funds (SDRF).

Amid the declining Covid-19 cases in India, the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha resumed proceedings for the second part of the budget session from March 14, which will conclude on April 8.

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