The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the implementation of Centre’s One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme across the country by July 31. Just days before the deadline Delhi Cabinet on July 19 decided to implement the scheme. All the beneficiaries would get ration free of cost in a phased manner through e-PoS devices on biometric authentication at all fair price shops (FPS) across Delhi.
“Migrant beneficiaries under national portability having proper ration cards and who have been identified under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) in their parent state would also get ration free of cost under this plan. The Delhi government has decided to continue the distribution of ration free of cost up to November 2021,” an official statement said.
What is One Nation One Ration Card scheme?
The ONORC is a central government initiative that allows eligible beneficiaries to avail food grains they are entitled to, under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) also known as ration shops across the country.
The scheme eliminates the need to obtain a new ration card for the new location.
A pilot run for the inter-state portability system was started by the union minister in two clusters of adjoining states — Andhra Pradesh-Telangana and Gujarat-Maharashtra in 2019. This enabled beneficiaries from either states’ cluster to avail benefits under the NFSA from any of the two states.
This is aimed at ensuring that the beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families, get ration from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.
Other aims of the intended reform were to better target beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/duplicate/ ineligible ration cards, and thus enhance the welfare and reduce leakage. For this, the reform conditions stipulated Aadhar Seeding of all Ration Cards, biometric authentification of beneficiaries, and automation of all the Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the State.
Who are eligible beneficiaries under the ONORC?
The beneficiaries under the system are ration cardholders who are eligible to get food grains from fair-price shops. Ration cardholders can buy up to 5 kg of rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Rs 1/kg per month, as mandated under the National Food Security Act passed in 2013.
Under the previous process, migrants had to apply for new ration cards at their new locations if they want to buy subsidised food grain, as the cards are linked to their residing places.
However, the new system helps the large migratory population to avail the benefits anywhere across the country.
How many states have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card scheme?
According to the Union Finance Ministry’s latest update, 17 states have successfully operationalised the One Nation One Ration Card system with Uttarakhand being the latest State to complete the reform. The 17 states that have implemented the scheme are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.