One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme
Published: September 2, 2020
The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution recently reviewed the progress made towards the implementation of “One Nation One Ration Card” plan. While reviewing, two Union Territories (UT) of Ladakh and Lakshadweep have been integrated with existing national portability cluster of 26 States/UTs. Migratory Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries in these 26 States/UTs can access their subsidised food grains at the same Scale and Central Issue Prices from any Fair Price Shop (FPS).
Highlight of the scheme
- It will ensure all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.
- Benefits: no poor person is deprived of getting subsidised food grains under the food security scheme when they shift from one place to another.
- It also aims to remove the chance of anyone holding more than one ration card to avail benefits from different states.
- Significance: This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption.
- The poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country but for that their ration cards must be linked to Aadhaar.
- Every state has its own rules for PDS. If ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ is implemented, it will further boost corruption in an already corrupted PDS,
- The scheme will increase the woes of the common man and, the middlemen and corrupt PDS shop owners will exploit them.
- Some states have opposed the proposal saying it would result in undesirable consequences and is against federalism.
- Centre is its inability to install and connect all fair price shops through electronic point of sale (e-POS) machines.
Thus, the government must first address these concerns and meet certain demands so as to fast track the implementation in order to meet the deadline of 2021.