‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ Expands to 32 States, Scheme Aimed at Migrant Workers

The Central government’s “one nation, one ration card” programme, that is aimed at enabling access to subsidized foodgrains for 8 crore migrant workers, is now operational in all 32 states. The ministry data also shows that four states are in the process of digitizing their networks.

Between August and February, there were 230 million transactions through the digitized system, Hindustan Times reported.

Food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said that the government has rolled out “Mera Ration”, a mobile application which is available to 67 percent of the population or over 80 crore beneficiaries of subsidized food grains under the National Food Security Act.

The report said that the mobile app will show the beneficiaries real-time data of ration stocks, their share and nearest fair-price shops from where they can procure cheap grains.

The programme is said to ease access of cheap foodgrains for migrant workers who have been relocated from their native places for work in cities.

For availing the scheme, a worker needs to present his ration card which is linked with the Aadhaar card to withdraw foodgrains.

According to ministry data, West Bengal, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Assam are yet to operationalize the system or at an advanced stage of implementing it. “The problem with Assam is that Aadhaar penetration is low. Delhi and West Bengal are almost ready with the digital infrastructure,” Pandey reportedly said.

The scheme is now fully prepared for seamless inter-state and even intra-state transactions in 32 states. Inter-state portability, whereby a migrant draws subsidised food in a state other than his own, ensures in-kind subsidies move with migrants wherever they go.

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