Centre can easily pay ₹5 lakh from the amount collected as taxes on petroleum products”
The Congress said on Thursday that the Centre’s decision to pay ₹50,000 as compensation for COVID-19 death is a “cruel joke”.
Addressing a press conference, spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said that every family that lost a member can “easily” be paid ₹5 lakh from the amount collected by the Centre as taxes on petroleum products.
Ms. Shrinate claimed that last year the Centre collected ₹4.54 lakh crore by way of taxes on petroleum products and it would need to spend only ₹22,000 core from this amount to cover the official figure of 4.5 lakh deaths during the pandemic.
“Today, from this platform, we demand a compensation of ₹5 lakh for every life lost to corona, because in India, it was a man-made crisis. Instead of providing for oxygen cylinders, beds and vaccines and medicines, this government was too busy electioneering,” she alleged.
The Congress spokesperson also claimed that the Narendra Modi government initially did not want to classify corona as a “disaster” under the rule of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, to avoid paying the ex-gratia amount of ₹4 lakh that is mandated to every victim of a disaster.
“It is also a good day to ask: where is the PM Cares fund? Why is nobody talking about the PM Cares fund in the government? This is not some private fund of the BJP. This is money that people like us have contributed to and thus is money that has been collected under the seal of the Union Government, in the Prime Minister’s name. Why is this money not being put to use?” she said.
The party also asked the government to stop “shameful attempts” to mask deaths, and undertake a fresh survey of deaths in every State and accept fresh claims of compensation.
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