One Nation, One Ration Card
Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan has unveiled the government efforts in realizing the idea of One Nation, One Ration Card. The government has launched a pilot project of One nation, one ration card in two clusters of Andhra Pradesh-Telangana and Maharashtra-Gujarat.
How the scheme will span out?
- To set the scheme operational, the government has first set the target to ensure that all the PDS shops are equipped with Point of Sales machine.
- The scheme would be an extension of the already existing Integrated Management of PDS (IMPDS) programme under which beneficiaries can avail their share of food grain from any district.
- IMPDS is operational in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.
- The scheme of One Nation, One Ration Card scheme will empower the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to one PDS shop. This would reduce the dependence of the beneficiaries on shop owners and curtail corruption.
The inter-state portability of ration card between Telangana-Andhra Pradesh as well as Maharashtra-Gujarat has been kick-started. i.e. the beneficiaries living in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can buy their quota of ration from the Ration Shops of Public Distribution System (PDS) in either of the states. Similar would be the case in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Seven states Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tripura currently are testing intra-portability of ration card, which means beneficiaries can lift their quota of ration from any PDS located within a state.
The Central government hopes to set up a grid of these 11 states where ration card will be made portable. This would enable beneficiaries can buy ration from any one of these 11 states.
Addresses Food Security Concern
Under the PDS, the government is distributing 612 lakh tonnes of food grains stored in warehouses for 81 crore beneficiaries.
The One Nation, One Ration Card scheme will aid in enhancing the food security of the country by coming to the aid of the migrant workers. Migrants in search of better opportunities travel outside their native place even to other states. But lack of interoperability led to these migrants getting deprived of their entitlements. One Nation, One Ration Card will be a boon to the migrant workers.