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One Nation-One Ration Card scheme

  Jul 15, 2020

One Nation-One Ration Card scheme

Q. What is ONOR ?

A. One Nation One Ration Card (RC) will ensure all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.

Q. What are benefits and significance of ONOR ? 

1. This scheme will ensure availability of the sufficient food grains to those poor workers who migrate from their home district.

2. It will reduce the practice of black marketing at the PDS shops. Currently, the PDS shop owner sells these food grains in the market in the absence of the actual beneficiaries. 

3. It will reduce the incidence of hunger death in the country which will further improve the Indian rank in the Global Hunger Index ranking.

4. It also aims to remove the chance of anyone holding more than one ration card to avail benefits from different states.

5. 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.

Q. What are the provisions of ONOR?

A. The poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country but for that their ration cards must be linked to Aadhaar.

Migrants would only be eligible for the subsidies supported by the Centre, which include rice sold at Rs. 3/kg and wheat at Rs. 2/kg, It would not include subsidies given by their respective state government in some other state.

Q. Is there any standard format of ‘one nation, one ration card’

A. Yes a standard format for ration card has been prepared after taking into account the format used by different states.

For national portability, the state governments have been asked to issue the ration card in bi-lingual format, where in besides the local language, the other language could be Hindi or English.

The states have also been told to have a 10-digit standard ration card number, wherein first two digits will be state code and the next two digits will be running ration card numbers.

Besides this, a set of another two digits will be appended with ration card number to create unique member IDs for each member of the household in a ration card.

Q. What are the challenges with the ONOR?

A. Prone to corruption: Every state has its own rules for Public Distribution System (PDS). If ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ is implemented, it will further boost corruption in an already corrupted Public Distribution System.

The scheme will increase the woes of the common man and, the middlemen and corrupt PDS shop owners will exploit them.

States for instance, Tamil Nadu has opposed the proposal of the Centre, saying it would result in undesirable consequences and is against federalism.