One Nation One Ration Card Plan
GS Paper II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Context: Integration of 5 States and Union Territories in the National Cluster under the “One Nation One Ration Card” plan has been approved by Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- The 5 States/UTs includes Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
- Twelve States are already onboard the National Cluster, namely – Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.
- With this, the facility of national/inter-State portability will be available for nearly 60 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries of 17 States/UT.
- They may lift their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice, anywhere in these 17 States/UT by using their same/existing ration card under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ plan.
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About One Nation One Ration Card Plan
Under the ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled food grains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from any fair-price shop in the country. The scheme was announced in June last year.
Families who have food security cards can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in these states but their ration cards should be linked with Aadhar Number to avail this service.
Benefits: No poor person is deprived of getting subsidised foodgrains under the food security scheme when they shift from one place to another. It also aims to remove the chance of anyone holding more than one ration card to avail benefits from different states.
Significance: 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.
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About National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013
The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
- It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System.
- Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.
- The Midday Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme are universal in nature whereas the PDS reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
- Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (or, PDS) are entitled to 5 kilograms (11 lb) per person per month of cereals at the following prices:
- Rice at Rs 3 per kg
- Wheat at Rs 2 per kg
- Coarse grains (millet) at Rs 1 per kg.
- Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
- Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.
- Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.
- Central Government will provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose.
- Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.
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