17 states implement ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system

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

States completing One Nation One Ration Card system reform are eligible for additional borrowing of 0.25 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

Accordingly, these States have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs. 37,600 crore by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

One Nation One Ration Card System is an important citizen centric reform. Its implementation ensures availability of ration to beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families, at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.

The reform especially empowers the migratory population mostly labourers, daily wagers, urban poor like rag pickers, street dwellers, temporary workers in organised and unorganised sectors, domestic workers etc, who frequently change their place of dwelling to be self reliant in food security. This technology driven reform enables the migrant beneficiaries to get their entitled quota of food grains from any electronic point of sale (e-PoS) enabled fair Price Shops of their choice anywhere in the country.

The reform also enables the States in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus and duplicate ineligible card holders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage.

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: Aadhar seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries in the state and automation of all the FPSs in the State.

In view of the resource requirement to meet multiple challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union government had on May 17, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 per cent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation i.e. one per cent of GSDP was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the states. The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure were Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, Ease of doing business reform, Urban Local body/utility reforms and Power Sector reforms.