Roll out ‘one nation, one ration card’ in a year, Centre tells states, UTs


JUNE 29, 2019

NEW DELHI, INDIA – The Centre has given a one-year deadline till June 30, 2020 to all states and Union Territories to roll out the ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme under which beneficiaries can obtain food grains at subsidized rates from any ration shop in any part of the country.

Speaking about the same, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said 10 states are already providing portability of Public Distribution System (PDS) entitlements.

The 10 states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Tripura.

“By next June 30, 2020, ‘one nation, one ration card’ should be implemented without fail in the entire country. We have written letters to the state government to fast track the implementation of this system,” Paswan told media people. “The new mechanism will ensure no poor is deprived of PDS entitlement if that person shifts from one place to another. The system will also help remove fake ration card holders.”

The ‘one nation, one ration card’ is one of the 100-days agenda of the new Modi government, Paswan said, adding that there are 11 states which can easily implement the PDS portability systems. He also said that Point of Sales (PoS) machines have been added in the ration shops of these states.

Explaining this new system, the Food Minister said that the beneficiaries were required to show their Aadhaar cards to buy foodgrains at subsidized rates at the ration shop. However, he added that only ration cards can also be shown if the beneficiaries wanted to get their PDS entitlement only from a registered ration shop.

As many as 22 states have 100 per cent PoS coverage, which makes the implementation of the new system easy, he said.

The food ministry will issue several guidelines related to the new system, a senior Food Ministry official said, PTI reported.

The guidelines will focus on issues like if one person from a family shifts to another state, he/she won’t buy ration for the entire family in one go. The official said that in such cases, the maximum limit of buying will be fixed.

Besides speaking on this scheme, Paswan also announced the distribution of fortified rice under the PDS on a pilot basis in one district each in 15 states from October-November.

Rice grown in Kharif season of 2019 will be fortified with iron, folic acid, vitamin A and B12 at the milling stage as per the standards fixed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), he added.

The Food Ministry also said that the Centre has given a six-month deadline to all the states to automate the operations of their foodgrain depots in order to minimize storage losses.

Courtesy/Source: Indian Express