Can't pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to COVID-19 victims' kin: Centre

New Delhi: Granting Rs 4 lakh as compensation to kin of those who died of COVID-19 would not be feasible as 'resources of governments have limits' and that the entire State Disaster Relief Fund would be depleted, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the Supreme Court.

This will affect pandemic response on other aspects and might end up doing more damage than good, it said in an affidavit.

"Utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good", the affidavit read.

The Central Government said that an ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakhs is beyond the fiscal affordability of the State Governments.

"Already the finances of State Governments and the Central Government are under severe strain, due to the reduction in tax revenues and increase in health expenses on account of the pandemic", the Ministry of Home Affairs said.