SOMOBYATHI – Financial Assistance for Cremation/ Burial
GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
No. 1151-F.B. Dated: Howrah, the 24th November, 2016
Whereas the State Government has been considering for sometime past for providing one time financial assistance to the bereaved family members of a deceased person, who are in extreme financial necessity to incur expenditure and other incidental expenses for performing the rites and rituals of the said deceased person at the time of cremation/ burial in the Cremation grounds /Burial grounds /Burning Ghats located within the State of West Bengal and under the administrative control of the Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samities and Zilla Parishads and Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Notified Area Authorities of the State.
And Whereas it has been felt necessary by the State Government to establish an institutional mechanism in the form of a “scheme” for providing the said one-time financial assistance to the bereaved family members, who are in extreme financial necessity, on humanitarian grounds, residing in the State of West Bengal, for the purpose mentioned above;
Now, therefore, after careful consideration, the Governor is pleased hereby to introduce a “scheme”, namely, “SOMOBYATHI” (hereinafter referred to as the “scheme”), for providing one-time ex-gratia grant which will be implemented as per following Guidelines.
To provide a one-time financial assistance of Rs. 2000/- in each such case, for the performance of the rites and rituals and to meet incidental expenses related to cremation/burial, to the next of kin/ nearest family members of the deceased person.
2. Implementation of the “schemes”:
The “scheme” will be implemented as the State Government Sponsored Scheme.
3. Nodal Department and Agency:
Panchayat and Rural Development Department will act as the Nodal Department in Panchayat areas and Municipal Affairs Department will act as the Nodal Department in Urban areas of the State.
4. Purpose of Grant:
4.1 To provide a one-time assistance for performance of the rites and rituals and to meet incidental expenses related to cremation/burial, to the next of kin/ nearest family members of the deceased person, who are in extreme financial necessity to perform such rites and rituals.
4.2 This assistance will be of Rs. 2,000/-, which will include cremation/ burial charge, purchase of necessary articles required to perform the rites and rituals at the time of cremation/ burial and charges to carry the dead body at the Cremation/ Burial ground, and other incidental expenses, if any.
5.1 The “scheme” will be applicable to the people from poor families, living in the State of West Bengal and where the cremation/ burial takes place at Crematoriums, Burning Ghats, Burial grounds etc. situated within the State of West Bengal.
5.2 The assistance will be provided to the next of kin, and if not available, to the nearest family member of the deceased person, who will apply with necessary cremation/ Burial Certificate at the time of cremation/burial, as the case may be.
6.1 Each Gram Panchayat /ULB will issue necessary notice which is to be displayed in conspicuous places and will provide wide publicity of the “scheme” in order to ensure that the targeted beneficiaries can avail the benefits provided under the “scheme”.
6.2 Every Gram Panchayat/ ULB, at their own cost, will display notice and sign board about the “scheme”, in local vernacular, at the respective Cremation Ground/Burial Ground under the respective jurisdiction.
6.3 The assistance under this “scheme” shall be sanctioned on the basis of a written application in a plain paper, received from the next of kin, and if not available, from the nearest member of the family of the deceased person.
6.4. The financial assistance shall be provided at the time of issuance of cremation/ burial certificate by the person duly authorized by the Executive Officer of the Urban Local Body, at the Cremation Ground/ Burning Ghat/ Burial Ground which are under the administrative jurisdiction of the concerned ULB. It has also to be ensured by the Urban Local Body that above mentioned authorized person, shall remain present at the respective Cremation Ground/ Burning Ghat/ Burial Ground and shall arrange for necessary fund required for providing such assistance at those places.
For providing the said grant in rural areas, the Block Development Officer will follow either of the two ways viz. – (a) to sanction and disburse the one-time ex-gratia grant immediately on receipt of the application as aforesaid in cash to the nearest relation of the family of the deceased person directly from her/his own office or through an Extension Officer of the Block or the Executive Assistant or the Secretary of the Gram Panchayat concerned on the spot of the funeral so that the incumbent family can utilize the amount at the time of the funeral itself; or (b) to reimburse the one-time ex-gratia grant in cash to the nearest relation of the family of the deceased person, on receipt of the application as stated before, directly from her/his own office or through an Extension Officer of the Block or the Executive Assistant or the Secretary of the Gram Panchayat concerned as soon as possible after the funeral and issuance of cremation/ burial certificate by the authorized officer.
6.5. In exceptional cases, where the deceased person has left no family or near relation and where such grant is essentially required to meet funeral and other incidental expenses in respect of the deceased person, any member of the immediate neighborhood who will apply for issuance of Cremation/ Burial Certificate may submit an application in the manner stated before for such one-time grant to person duly authorized by the Urban Local Body responsible to issue the Cremation/ Burial Certificate, at the Cremation Ground/ Burning Ghat/ Burial Ground. The said authorized person, after careful examination and satisfaction about the genuineness of the case, will sanction and disburse the grant in cash to the applicant for the purpose.
For providing such grant in exceptional cases as stated above in rural areas, the Block Development Officer will follow either of the two ways as stated above under para 6.4 for providing grant in rural areas, to sanction and disburse the one time grant.
6.6. The assistance under the “scheme”, will be sanctioned and disbursed in cash to the nearest relation of the family of the deceased person who will apply for Cremation/ Burial Certificate, upon receiving a proper receipt from the recipient of the grant. For this purpose, the eligibility of the incumbent family shall be accepted by the person duly authorized by the concerned Executive Officer of Urban Local Body/ Block Development Officer of the Gram Panchayat concerned.
6.7 For cremation/ burial of deceased in private burning ghat/ burial ground within the jurisdiction of any Gram Panchayat/ ULB, such assistance under the “scheme” will be provided as per procedure laid down above upon submission of necessary documents to the concerned authorized person, as soon as possible.
6.8 However, in all above cases, post-facto approval shall be obtained by the person duly authorized by the Gram Panchayat/ Urban Local Body responsible for disbursement of the ex-gratia under this “scheme” at the respective cremation/ burial ground, from the appropriate authority of the concerned Gram Panchayat/ Urban Local Body responsible for this purpose within the next 3 working days and all such documents to be preserved properly at the Gram Panchayat Office/ Municipal Office.
7. Allocation of Fund:
7.1 For Panchayat areas a separate head of account will be opened for the Panchayats & Rural Development Department for receipt of fund of the purpose in the form of grant-in-aid with permission for drawal of the amounts from the State exchequer in advance and for allotment of funds to the Block Development Officers.
7.2 The Block Development Officer will keep the fund to be received from the State Government for the purpose in any existing bank account maintained in her/his office and maintain separate books of accounts including ledger etc. in respect of the scheme.
7.3 For urban areas the fund will be released to the respective Sub-divisional Officers, who also act as Drawing and Disbursing Officer of the concerned Urban Local Body or to the Municipal Secretary, in case of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, from Municipal Affairs Department.
8.1 The “scheme” will be implemented under overall supervision of Sub Divisional Officer concerned having jurisdiction over the Gram Panchayat/ Urban Local Body.
8.2 There shall be a Monitoring Committee for proper monitoring and implementation of the “scheme” in each of the Sub-divisions, to be constituted by the concerned District Magistrate under the Chairmanship of concerned Sub-Divisional Officer and comprising of concerned Sub-Divisional Police Officer, having jurisdiction over the area, the Executive Officers/ authorized Officer (in case of Municipal Corporation) and Finance Officers and the concerned municipal employee responsible for implementation of the “scheme” in respective Municipalities/ Municipal Corporation located within the jurisdiction of the Subdivision concerned. The Panchayats & Rural Development Department and Municipal Affairs Department will assign the responsibility of monitoring the scheme to a senior officer in the Department in the entire State.
This order is issued with the concurrence of Finance Department vide U.O. No. 2259 dtd 24.11.2016.
By order of the Governor
Principal Secretary to the
Govt. of West Bengal
No. 1151-FB dated 24.11.2016, SourceFinance, Ex-Gratia, Somobyathi