Context: In a bid to implement ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ across the country by June 1, 2020, the Centre on Friday (9/088/2019) kick-started inter-state portability of ration cards between Telangana-Andhra Pradesh as well as Maharashtra-Gujarat
- This means beneficiaries living in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can buy their quota of ration from the Public Distribution System (PDS), also called ration shops, in either of the two States. Similar would be the case in Maharasthra and Gujarat.
- In these four states, both intra-state and inter-state portability of ration card is being implemented successfully.
- Meanwhile, seven States, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tripura, at present are testing intra-portability of ration cards, which means beneficiaries can lift their quota of ration from any PDS located within a State.
- By January 2020, these 11 states will be formed as one grid where ration cards will be made portable. It means beneficiaries can buy ration from any one of these 11 States.
- The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution said that the government is aiming to roll out ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ across the country by June 1, 2020.
How the stock will be managed?
- The Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns have enough capacity and have been asked to stock three months of ration in advance.
- The FCI godowns are already online and the States have been directed to go digital at the earliest to track the movement of food grain.
Food Subsidy programme:
- At present, the government supplies 5 kg of subsidised food grain to each person per month to over 81 crore people via 5,00,000 ration shops in the country, costing the exchequer about 1.4 lakh crore annually.
- Food grain via ration shops are supplied at a highly subsidised rate of 3/kg for rice, 2/kg for wheat and 1/kg for coarse grains via the PDS as per the National Food Security Act.