One Nation One Ration Card Scheme

One nation one ration card scheme was launched on a pilot basis in four states- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Launched by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. It will be available across the country from July 1, 2020.

The main objective is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA). It will allow portability of food security benefitse. to lift their entitlement food grains from any Fair Price Shop in the country. This means poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar. It would integrate the existing PDS systems/portals of States/UTs with the Central systems/portals.

National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA)

The National Food Security Act, 2013 was enacted to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

  • It provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 kgs of food grains per person per month at subsidized prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
  • To ensure the food security of poorest of poor, the existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a nutritious “take home ration” of 600 Calories, 18-20 grams of protein and a maternity benefit of at least Rs 6,000 for six months.
  • The eldest women of the household of age 18 years or above will be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
  • Children 6 months to 14 years of age are to receive free hot meals or “take home rations”.
  • States are the implementing agencies and the Central Government will be responsible to provide funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains.

Universal Public Distribution System (PDS)

Universal Public Distribution System (PDS) was introduced in India in 1965 to improve the health conditions and provide food grains to common people at affordable prices. It served the aim of

  • Maintaining stability in the prices of essential commodities across regions
  • Keeping a check on private trade, hoarding and black-marketing.

Targeted PDS (TPDS)

  • The PDS was converted into Targeted PDS (TPDS) in 1997
  • It classified population into Above Poverty Line (APL) and Below Poverty Line (BPL)
  • Only those households classified as BPL were made eligible for subsidized purchase of commodities from the ration shops.

But the poorest of poor, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.

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