Special Correspondent

Centre announces relief worth more than Rs. 330 crore

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday announced a relief package worth more than Rs. 330 crore for the victims of the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a proposal for payment of additional ex gratia to the victims as also towards damaged residential properties and uninsured commercial property.

The next of kin of 1,169 people killed in the riots would be paid Rs.3.5-lakh ex gratia in addition to the amount paid by the State government, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists. This would amount to an additional liability of Rs.40.91 crore on the exchequer, he said.

A sum of Rs.1.25 lakh would be paid to each of the 2,548 people injured after deducting the amount already paid to them by the State government, he said. This would cost the Central exchequer Rs.29.64 crore.

Amount released

The liability on ex gratia assistance for riot victims for death and injury would come to Rs.70.55 crore.

The amount has already been released to the Gujarat government for disbursement.

The victims, whose residential properties had been damaged, would get an additional ex gratia 10 times the amount given by the State government after excluding the amount already paid by the State. The additional liability on this count would come to Rs.262.44 crore.

The Gujarat government had paid Rs.29.16 crore in 29,467 cases of damage to residential properties.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for grant of additional ex gratia for damage to uninsured commercial and industrial properties, he said. In these cases, the ex gratia would be 10 times the amount given by the State government, deducting the amount already paid.

The package for the Gujarat riot victims will be on a par with the measures taken for the victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

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