Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 12 November addressed a press conference. The FM is taking stock of the economy since the COVID pandemic hit the economy and will announce a few new measures in the series of stimulus announcements that the government has been doing. In her address, the FM mentioned that there has been very good progress on ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ scheme.
“There has been very good progress on ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ in 28 states covering 68.8 crore beneficiaries,” said FM Sitharaman. Now, 68.6 crore beneficiaries can lift food grains from any of these 28 states/UTs. Note that the One Nation One Ration Card facility was started as inter-state portability of ration cards in four states in August last year.
Since then, a total of 28 States/UT have been integrated together into a national portability cluster w.e.f. June 2020. Thus, this facility is currently enabled for NFSA cardholders in 28 States, UTs. The 28 states, UTs are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Sikkim, Mizoram, Telangana, Kerala, Punjab, Tripura, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand.
Besides, the required web-services for inter-state transactions and their monitoring through central dashboards have been activated for these States and UTs. All other States and Union Territories are targeted to be integrated before March 2021.
It is worth mentioning that the One Nation One Ration Card facility is an ambitious plan and endeavour of Department of Food & Public Distribution to ensure the delivery of food security entitlements to all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, irrespective of their physical location anywhere in the country, by implementing nation-wide portability of ration cards under the ongoing central sector scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)’ in association with all States/UTs.
Through this system, the migratory NFSA beneficiaries, who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of temporary employment, etc. are now enabled with an option to lift their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice anywhere in the country by using their same/existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar based authentication on an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device installed at the FPSs.
Thus, installation of ePoS devices at the FPSs and Aadhaar seeding of beneficiaries for biometric/ Aadhaar authentication are the main enablers of this system, which can be accessed by beneficiaries by quoting either their ration card number or the Aadhaar number to any FPS dealer across the country. Anyone in the family, who have seeded Aadhaar in the ration card can undergo authentication and lift the ration. There is no need to share or carry the ration card or Aadhaar card with ration dealer to avail the benefit. Beneficiaries can undergo Aadhaar authentication by using their fingerprints or iris-based identification.