The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

On Compensation to Families of Covid Victims

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) rejects the Central Government’s understanding with regard to compensation to Corona victims, as stipulated under the Disaster Management Act, which has been invoked by the Central Government to deal with the Covid pandemic. Under the provisions of this Act compensation to the victims of a disaster has to be paid.

The argument that the distribution of ex-gratia payments will strain the finances of the government is specious. The Central Government can very well raise the required resources if it abandons its preoccupation with maintaining the levels of fiscal deficit in a crisis of this dimension. Such fiscal fundamentalism in this catastrophe makes no sense.

Crores of people have lost their means of livelihood during the last one year and are struggling to survive. They are receiving very little help even in the struggle against the pandemic with grossly inadequate health facilities, shortages of life saving medicines, etc. The informal sector that is the basis for sustenance for crores of daily wage labourers has been virtually destroyed. This Covid pandemic came on top of such ruination that began earlier with the Demonetisation and GST.

Under these circumstances, ex-gratia payment to families who lost their members to the pandemic is a basic humanitarian need.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau demands that in accordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act ex-gratia compensation be given to families of all those who lost their lives succumbing to the Covid pandemic.

For CPI(M) Central Committee Office