Approves procedural guidelines for ex-gratia financial relief of Rs. 50,000 each to COVID victims

JAMMU, NOVEMBER 24: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting of the UT Executive Committee for Disaster Management to review the requirement of funds in districts for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and COVID management.

Administrative Secretaries of departments of Finance, Health & Medical Education, Revenue, and Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction (DMRRR) participated in the meeting.

In furtherance of its earlier decision of providing ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000 to the next of kin of the victims of COVID, the UT Executive Committee today approved the procedural guidelines governing the relief distribution. The Chief Secretary further directed formulation of standard operating procedures in consultation with the domain experts for streamlining the disbursal of ex-gratia relief within three days.

It was informed that so far 4,176 people have died due to COVID-19 and the relief will be disbursed in favour of the families through a transparent verification process via aadhar linked direct benefit transfer (DBT).

As per the approved guidelines, the Deputy Commissioners in consultation with the Health Department will provide the ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000 to the next of kin of COVID victims including those involved in relief operations and preparedness activities; based on valid death certificates issued in this regard. The guidelines also require the Deputy Commissioners to provide the online application link for seeking the ex-gratia relief on the district’s official web portal.

The Chief Secretary observed that the death certificates mentioning COVID as the cause of death might not have been issued to victims in the earlier wave and accordingly directed the Department to lay down SOP and also constitute a grievance redressal committee to facilitate the families in availing the required documentation.

Dr. Mehta stressed adherence to the existing data on official COVID-deaths and SAKSHAM relief distribution to further streamline the rollout of the ex-gratia relief. He directed completion of relief distribution exercise in favour of all beneficiaries within two months.

Moreover, the State Executive Committee also sanctioned the release of Rs. 66.12 crore to districts for distributing disaster relief on account of damages due to incessant rains, hailstorms, and snowfall on 23rd and 24th October 2021.

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