One nation, one ration card: Many states yet to come on board but govt committed to roll it out by March 2021
The parliamentary standing committee on labour on Monday was informed that many states such as Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattishgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are yet to come on board the “one nation, one ration card” mechanism; but the Centre is committed to roll it out pan-India by March 2021.
The one nation-one ration card aims to ensure that ration card holders are able to lift their entitled quota of subsidised foodgrains from any ePoS-enabled fair price shop of their choice anywhere in the country by using the existing ration card after Aadhaar authentication on ePoS device.
Sources said while 24 states and UTs are already on board, 12 states and UTs are yet to lend support. While some states, not agreeing to so far, want the co-existence of the hybrid system — under which a ration card holder is entitled to lift the share using either the old system or the new system; some other states want internet connectivity to improve before the system is rolled out.
“West Bengal has not opted for the ‘one nation, one ration card’ mechanism. Chhattisgarh has also complained about the connectivity issue. Number of other states has also said connectivity is not that smooth in their respective states, so they can’t go in favour,” panel chairman Bhartruhari Mahtab said.
The Centre had earlier said by March 31, 2021, all states will be added to the scheme.
The standing committee was interacting with the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry on their plans for the migrant workers as they can not avail the public distribution system (PDS) benefit while they are away from their native areas.