In the context of ration card portability, discuss what is the ‘One ...
Jun 11, 2020
In the context of ration card portability, discuss what is the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system?
The Finance Minister has announced the national rollout of a ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system in all states and Union Territories by March 2021.
As of now, about 20 states have come on board to implement the inter-state ration card portability.
This system will enable migrant workers and their family members to access PDS benefits from any Fair Price Shop in the country.
Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore persons are entitled to buy subsidized foodgrain — rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg — from their designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
Currently, about 23 crore ration cards have been issued to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries of NFSA in all states and UTs.
In the present system, a ration cardholder can buy foodgrains only from an FPS that has been assigned to her in the locality in which she lives.
However, this will change once the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system becomes operational nationally.
Suppose a beneficiary lives in the district of Basti in Uttar Pradesh and migrates to Mumbai for work. Currently, she is no longer able to purchase subsidised foodgrains from a PDS shop in her new locality in Mumbai. However, under the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system, the beneficiary will be able to buy subsidised foodgrains from any FPS across the country.
The new system, based on a technological solution, will identify a beneficiary through biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs, and enable that person to purchase the quantity of foodgrains to which she is entitled under the NFSA.