Families who lost breadwinners in COVID-19 need supportive policies and a safety net

Why government must provide relief to families lost breadwinners? 

Context: Recently a case has been filed in the court demanding compensation for Covid-19 deaths. The petitioners demand one-time compensation payments (₹4 lakh) or notified ex gratia (Voluntary payment by government). 

Government response in court: 
  • The government said that such payments are beyond the Government’s fiscal affordability. 
  • Instead of giving one-time compensation payments, the government can deploy funds in health careenhance social protection and support economic recovery of affected communities. 
Arguments from petitioners: 
  • There is a provision in the Disaster Management Act for providing compensation 
  • In India, second wave peaked only due to poor health infrastructure and low public health expenditure. Even the Economic Survey mentioned the Failure of Public policy to increase public spending to 2.5%-3% of GDP on health. 
  • Lack of Government’s resource is not a justifiable argument, as the Centre is pursuing expensive redevelopment projects such as the Central Vista. 
Suggestions: 
  • As the center is providing free vaccines to all, now it is time to move forward and provide a road map for a universal public health system. 
  • Changes in Tax policy to facilitate the wealthiest to compensate those who have been hit the hardest. 

Families lost breadwinners need help, like the government help towards Covid orphans 

Source: The Hindu 

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