Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

[pib] 17 States implement One Nation One Ration Card System

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ONORC

Mains level : Welfare of the migrant workers

Seventeen (17) States have successfully operationalised the “One Nation One Ration Card system” with Uttarakhand being the latest State to complete the reform.

Practice question for mains:

The ‘One nation one ration card ‘scheme would bring perceptible changes to the lives of India’s internal migrant workers. Comment.

One Nation One Ration Card

  • This scheme aims to ensure all beneficiaries, especially migrants get ration (wheat, rice and other food grains) across the nation from any Public Distribution System (PDS) shop of their own choice.
  • Under the existing system, a ration cardholder can buy food grains only from the fair price shop (FPS) in the locality where he or she lives.
  • It was also launched with the purpose that no poor person should be deprived of getting subsidised food grains under the food security scheme when they shift from one place to another.
  • It aims to reduce instances of corruption by middlemen and fraudulence in ration cards to avail benefits from different states.

Who is eligible under this scheme?

  • Any citizen, who is declared under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, will be eligible to get the benefit of this scheme across the country.
  • The beneficiaries will be identified on the basis of their Aadhar based identification through the electronic point of sale (PoS) device.
  • All the PDS shops will have the facility of electronic PoS devices.

Impact on states

  • The reform enables the States to better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination bogus/ duplicate/ineligible cardholders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage.
  • An additional borrowing limit of 0.25 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is allowed to the States only on completion of both of the following actions:
  1. Aadhar Seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries in the State
  2. Automation of all the FPSs in the State.

Back2Basics: Public distribution system (PDS)

  • The public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food Security System established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
  • PDS evolved as a system of management of scarcity through the distribution of food grains at affordable prices.
  • PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments.
  • The Central Government, through the Food Corporation of India (FCI), has assumed the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments.
  • The operational responsibilities including allocation within the State, identification of eligible families, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of FPSs etc., rest with the State Governments.
  • Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution.
  •  Some states/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.
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