Riding on the back of swift progress made in linking ration cards with Aadhar across the country and facilitating food grain distribution through Point of Sale (PoS) machines, the government now plans to implement the “One Nation-one Ration Card” scheme by June 30, 2020, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan has said.
The scheme, once implemented across India, will allow “any beneficiary, anywhere in the country”, to be able to pick up their grain from any public distribution system of their choice, Paswan said. This could prove to be a boon for migrant workers, who often find themselves struggling to make ends meet while working in cities where the cost of food could be prohibitively high for them.
The minister said that work is being done on war footing to ensure the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme is implemented across the nation and that data of all ration cards will be connected to one server.
Currently, as many as 10 states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Tripura — have been able to distribute 100 percent of grains through POS machines with all Public Distribution System (PDS) shops having been connected to the internet.
The minister also said that work was in the final stage for integrating the entire PDS with the Depots Online System (DOS) to ensure the seamless working of the National Food Security Act and bringing further transparency in the storage and distribution process of food grains.
“FCI will provide an internet gateway for integrating DOS with state governments within four months. After that, within two months, states will integrate their Warehouse Management Systems with DOS,” Paswan said while directing the officials of the Department of Food and PD to continuously review the progress made in this regard.
Under the PDS, the government distributes 612 lakh tonnes of foodgrains stored in warehouses of Food Corporation of India, Central Warehousing Corporation, State Warehousing Corporations, and private godowns among 81 crore beneficiaries annually.