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    Govt extends portability of ration card to 5 more states


    Under the 'One Nation-One Ration Card' initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from any Fair Price Shop in the country using the same ration card.

    New Delhi: Migrant labourers will have better access to subsidised food away from home as the government has expanded the scope of ration card portability to cover beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Daman Diu.

    The scheme, which gives each beneficiary 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain, now covers 17 states and union territories, the government said on Friday.

    The scheme was launched in January this year in 12 states—Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.

    The rest of the country will be included in the portability scheme by June this year. This will benefit 600 million beneficiaries out of 810 million covered under the Food Security Act.

    “This will be a great help to migrant workers of these states, who can get subsidised foodgrains from any ration shop on showing their existing ration card across 17 states. There are over 1.4 crore migrant workers in the country,” said a senior food ministry official.

    The move comes three days after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to consider whether it is feasible for it to implement the “one nation-one ration card” at this stage or not and take appropriate decision in this regard keeping in view the hardship caused by the lockdown.

    “There have been reports of problems faced by migrant workers in getting subsidised foodgrains,” said a food ministry official. “This portability will help them draw their share of ration from a nearby ration shop by biometric registration. However, during lockdown most of the states are distributing foodgrains without ration cards also to help feed the poor.”

    Many beneficiaries have not been able to take advantage of the scheme in recent weeks because ration shops were reluctant to use the required machine, fearing Covid infection.
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    1 Comment on this Story

    Kumarapuram Sadasivan260 days ago
    The Economic Times