PDS in India
- Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore persons are entitled to buy subsidized foodgrain — rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg — from their designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments.
- The Central Government, through 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 Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc., rests with the State Governments.
What is the one ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system?
- Earlier, a ration cardholder can buy food grains only from an FPS that has been assigned to her in the locality in which she lives.
- However, under the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system, the beneficiary will be able to buy subsidised foodgrains from any FPS across the country.
- The biggest beneficiaries will be migrant workers who move to other states to seek better job opportunities.
How will the system of ration card portability work?
- Ration card portability is aimed at providing intra-state as well as inter-state portability of ration cards.
- The new system, based on a technological solution, will identify a beneficiary through biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs, and enable that person to purchase the quantity of foodgrains to which she is entitled under the NFSA.
- Once the ‘one nation one ration card’ system takes effect in a given state, the beneficiary family can purchase food grains from different locations. For example, a migrant worker staying in a different state can buy his or her share of the subsidized food grains from any FPS in the state where they work while the remaining family members will be able to buy their quota of the supplies back at home.
Why in News?
- An awareness drive workshop was held in Jammu & Kashmir for raising awareness for the One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) initiative.