The central government’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system, under which beneficiaries can buy subsidised food grains from ration shops in any part of the country, will be implemented on January 15, 2020. The initiative will come into effect initially in 12 states, and then gradually to the rest of the country, government sources said.
In its initial stage, the scheme is being implemented in 12 states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura and Jharkhand.
These states will provide portability of the Public Distribution System (PDS) entitlement using Point of Sale (PoS) machines, which have been installed in all the ration shops in these states. Now eligible beneficiaries, mainly migrant labourers and daily wagers, will be able to avail their entitled food grains under the National Food Security Act from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) at the subsidised using the same ration card, after a biometric/AADHAAR authentication on the earlier mentioned electronic PoS machines.
Through this step, the Centre estimates, an approximate 35 million people will benefit as they will be able to use their ration cards in any state. A total of 79 crore people in the country will have ration cards. The initiative is largely considered to be important to the welfare of the numerous migrant beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers, blue-collar workers, etc. who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment across the country.
Earlier, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan had on December 3 announced that the ‘one nation, one ration card’ system will be “implemented without fail in the entire country” by June 30, 2020. 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 cardholders, he had added.
Since November 2016, the Narendra Modi government is implementing the National Food Security Act, under which foodgrains are supplied every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1 3 per kg to over 80 crore people in the country.