June 1, 2021 4:17:29 am
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Monday approved Rs 30 lakh ex gratia payment to the families of government employees who died of Covid-19 within a month of panchayat election duty.
Senior officials said the 30-day threshold was chosen after consulting experts, including those from the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS). The government will now start the process of collecting the details of beneficiaries in every district.
Family members will be allowed to file applications with details that will be verified by district administrations.
“Families of those who died within 30 days of their election duty because of Covid-19 infection will be eligible for Rs 30 lakh ex gratia decided by the government. The parameter of deaths within 30 days has been set as it will cover most of the affected families and after approval from state advisory board on Covid-19 and Director, SGPGI,” said Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Singh.
For more than a month, the state administration, and government employees and teachers’ organisations have fought over the actual toll, with an association of Basic Teachers saying about 1,600 teachers had succumbed to the respiratory disease after contracting it during the polls.
As the controversy brewed, the government revised one of its orders to include Covid deaths in the list of compensation to its employees who died during poll duty. The government used the Election Commission’s definition of what constitutes poll duty — “from the home of the employee to the place of duty, and back to the home of the employee from the place of duty”.
However, organisations representing government workers and teachers demanded amendments saying if a person died of Covid weeks after being infected, his or her family would not qualify for compensation.
As per the latest order, affected families will have to submit either an antigen test report or an RT-PCR report of the deceased to be eligible for compensation.
A blood report or CT scan confirming Covid infection will also be acceptable. The government order also covers those employees who caught the infection during election duty and died of “post-Covid complications” in the 30-day period, even if their Covid report later came back as negative.
Meanwhile, sources said at Monday’s meeting the Cabinet approved proposals to ensure the availability of vaccines for those above 18 years as the government has declared its objective of vaccinating one crore people in June, and the construction of an advanced diabetic centre at SGPGI.
The Cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the newly launched “Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Baal Sewa Yojna”, which has been designed to help children who have become destitute following the deaths of their parents due to Covid.
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