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The Cabinet on Wednesday announced an ex-gratia financial assistance of ₹5000 per month for three years as direct benefit transfer to the next of kin of COVID-19 victims hailing from below poverty line (BPL) families.

The payment is in addition to the assistance ₹Rs 50,000 declared by the Central Government. The Government has included those receiving welfare pensions under the ambit of the scheme.

The Cabinet also clarified that families of those who died abroad or outside the State due to COVID-19 would be eligible for the assistance.

The Government would make budgetary allocations for the purpose. Till then, the Government would disburse the payments from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

The Government has asked the Revenue Department to simplify the application process for the scheme. Moreover, District Collectors should ensure that the beneficiaries do not include income taxpayers or Government employees.

The Cabinet also resolved to make transfers of Government officials transparent by formulating a clear set of norms.

Probe against Aryadan

The Cabinet has sought the consent of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to open an anti-corruption inquiry against former Power Minister and Congress leader Aryadan Mohammed.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Sarita S. Nair that Mr. Aryadan had misused his official position and accepted ₹40 lakh from her.

The Cabinet also accorded administrative sanction for acquiring land for the proposed the Kochi-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor. It has earmarked 375 acres of land in Puthussery West village in Palakkad for the project.