Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that India would move towards a “one nation, one ration card” system to help the poor across the country. The announcement comes at a time when the NDA-ruled Centre has been facing flak for its alleged mismanagement of the exodus of guest workers triggered by the lockdown.

“In the coming times, for all of India, there will be one single ration card, which will benefit those poor workers who are living in other states,” the prime minister said.
<img src="onr.jpg" alt="ONE NATION ONE RATION CARD"/>

The PM also announced that the supply of free foodgrain to the poor, a scheme named PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) that began three months ago, will continue until the end of November. This will entail an additional expenditure of Rs 90,000 crore to provide free grain to around 80 crore people, in addition to the Rs 60,000 crore already spent.

“Until November 2020, we will continue to provide five kilos of free rice or wheat as well as one kilo of free chana (lentil) to feed 80 crore poor under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY),” the prime minister said and added that Rs 31,000 crore have been deposited in the bank accounts of 20 crore people in the last three months.

The one nation, one ration card system will enable guest workers and their families to access PDS benefits from any fair price shop (FPS) in the country. In the present system, a ration card holder can only access the PDS from the FPS in his or her locality. Under the new system, he or she can buy subsidised grain from an FPS in another state too. This will be made possible through biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices.

By January 2020, at least 12 states joined the “one nation, one ration card” initiative; eight more joined by June 1. While announcing her second trench of the Aatmanirbhar package, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that 67 crore people will be covered under the policy by August this year. The government aims to make it pan-India by March next year. 

Today's address to the nation was an attempt by the PM to put speed on his next project of bringing the entire country under one welfare umbrella over which the central government would have a greater say unlike in the present system where welfare disbursement is largely left to the states. The great distress felt by guest workers immediately after the corona lockdown serves as a ready rationale for bringing in this move at this jucnture. 

A single ration card system would reduce the chances of large-scale migration during a crisis like the lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended till November 2020. Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was  launched to provide relief to the poor and needy class during the COVID-19.

These states of india have been integrated under 'One Nation, One Ration card' system are as follows — Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand and Tripura. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Daman and Diu.

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