Thiruvananthapuram, May 18: On Wednesday, the Kerala cabinet took the decision to give Rs 2 lakh compensation to the kin of those who died while trying to exchange their demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, or while waiting in queues at banks or ATMs.
According to the state government figures, four people have died waiting in queue to exchange their demonetised notes. "The Kerala Cabinet decided to give Rs 2 lakh each to families of four persons who passed away waiting in queue to exchange demonetised notes," reported ANI.
On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation and thus scrapped high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Immediately after the announcement, people across the country spent hours to exchange their old notes in banks for several days.
Moreover, for a couple of months, mostly till February this year, India reeled under cash crunch, as it took the Reserve Bank of India substantial amount of time to replace old notes with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes after the note ban was announced.
In fact, it was the then Uttar Pradesh government under the Samajwadi Party which first announced compensation to families of "victims" who died due to demonetisation in January this year .
Thus the Kerala government under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is not the first one to take the decision to compensate demonetisation-related deaths.
During the peak of demonetisation, the opposition parties demanded that the Centre should give due financial assistance to the victims of note ban. According to figures around 75 people died across the country due to demonetisation.