The Center should abandon budget targets in times of crisis: IPC (M)
The CPI(M) said on Monday the government could raise funds to compensate the families of COVID-19 victims if it dropped its “concern” about maintaining budget deficit levels in the event of a crisis.
The Center, in an affidavit before the Supreme Court, said that the payment of ex gratia compensation is beyond the means and finances of the central government and the state governments, as they are under great pressure.
“The argument that handing out ex gratia payments will strain government finances is specious. The central government may very well raise the necessary resources if it abandons its preoccupation with maintaining budget deficit levels in a crisis of this magnitude. Such fiscal fundamentalism in this
disaster makes no sense,” the party said in a statement.
He also said that millions of people have lost their livelihoods over the past year and are receiving very little help even in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with totally inadequate health facilities, drug shortages vitals, etc.
“The informal sector which is the basis of the livelihood of crores of day laborers has been virtually destroyed. This Covid pandemic has added to such ruin which started earlier with demonetization and GST.
“Under these circumstances, ex gratia payment to families who have lost their members due to the pandemic is a basic humanitarian need,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said.
She demanded that compensation for the families of Covid victims be paid in accordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
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