The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has informed Supreme Court that giving an ex gratia payment of Rs. 4 lakh to kin of each COVID-19 deceased would not be possible as "resources of the government have limits" and entire amount of State Disaster Relief Fund will end up being utilised for such payments, if such payments are made. .This will, in turn, affect pandemic response on other aspects and might end up doing more damage than good. "Utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good," an affidavit filed by MHA before the top court stated. .MHA was responding to a plea seeking directions to the Central and states to provide ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 4 lakh to the family members of those who have succumbed to the side effects or post COVID-19 diseases, including mucormycosis. The petition by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal had referred to Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, which said that national authority shall recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster, which shall include ex-gratia assistance. .The Central government stated that an ex-gratia of Rs.4 lakhs is beyond the fiscal affordability of the State Governments.."Already the finances of State Governments and the Central Government are under severe strain, due to the reduction in tax revenues and increase in health expenses on account of the pandemic," the M HA submitted. .Regarding Section 12 of DMA, the reply said that it is the “National Authority” which is empowered to recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief, including ex-gratia assistance and thus it is a "function entrusted to the authority by the law passed by the Parliament." "It is well settled through numerous judgements of the Supreme Court that this is a matter which should be performed by the authority, to whom it has been entrusted and not one where the Court will substitute its own judgement for the decision to be taken by the Executive. Any attempt to second guess may create unintended and unfortunate Constitutional and administrative ramifications," it was submitted. .The term 'Ex-Gratia’ itself connotes that the amount is not based on legal entitlement, the Centre added.