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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 care, enhance 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.
- 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