The Government of India launched the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme to ensure that migrant workers can avail the items necessary for human survival such as grains, rice, wheat flour, and fuel, among others, at subsidised rates from Public Distribution Shops (PDS) all over the country.
The One Nation One Ration Card scheme was unveiled on May 16, 2020 in the light of pandemic. The way this works is that an existing Ration Card holder will have to get their ordinary card converted into what will be known as an ONORC Card to avail the benefits of the scheme. With this, all beneficiaries of the One Nation One Ration Card scheme will be able to procure food and essentials at subsidised rates from any Public Distribution Shop in the country.
The One Nation One Ration Card scheme was rolled out by the Finance Minister on May 16 during the last phase of the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, which included stimulus funds of ₹20 lakh crore. This ration card has been launched in all states and Union Territories in the country and 20 states have already agreed to implement this scheme.
It has been observed that approximately 80 crore beneficiaries are entitled to receive food and grains at subsidised rates under the National Food Security Act, 2013. However, out of the 80 crore beneficiaries, only 23 crore ration cards have been actually issued across Indian states and Union Territories.
Prior to the introduction of the One Nation One Ration Card scheme, an ordinary ration card holder could only purchase such items from the Public Distribution System (PDS) in their locality. It is due to this reason that migrants in the country found it hard to sustain a lifestyle in a city. However, once these beneficiaries convert their existing ration cards to the ONORC card, they will be able to buy subsidised food items from any Fair Price Shop shop in India.
The Finance Minister also mentioned that for the citizens who do not own a state or central issued PDS card, they will be given 1 kilogram of ‘chana’ and 5 kilograms of grain for the next two months.
The major benefit of the One Nation One Ration Card scheme is that beneficiaries can avail food items and essentials at any FPS shop across the country. Long story short, the One Ration card can help ease the livelihood of migrant workers all over the country.
To summarise, the benefits of the One Ration Card are as follows:
Under the One Nation One Ration Card scheme, beneficiaries from one state can easily get their share of ration in another state. The ONORC initiative is aimed at providing migrant workers with universal access to PDS food grains.
The ONORC scheme will also give beneficiaries the opportunity to choose their own supplier. This implies that the beneficiary can switch to a vendor of their choice in case they are not happy with their current one.
This scheme will prove to be beneficial for women and other groups as well.
The initiative will also help the government achieve the target that was set under the UN initiative of Sustainable Development Goals 2: Ending hunger by 2030.
As per the Finance Minister, the portability procedure of the current ration card to the One Ration card will be carried out on an intra-state and inter-state basis. It will be done online through various portals assigned for the task.
The Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IMPDS) will provide the technological platform to initiate portability of inter-state ration cards. Additionally, one can also port their ration card on the Annavitran portal. It will help migrant families to avail the benefits of procuring food at a Public Distribution System within their state but outside their district.
The portability facility is currently available in 20 states at the moment. According to the data available on the IMPDS portal, 275 applications were received on the launch day. As per the reports, the number of transactions for the portability of the intra-state ration card is much higher.
The ONORC was officially rolled out on June 01, 2020. However, at the moment, there are a total of 17 states and 8 Union Territories on board to roll out the interstate portability of the ration card under the National Food Security Act. They are as follows:
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu
In conclusion, the One Nation One Ration Card scheme is going to prove to be beneficial for migrant workers and their families that travel to other states for work purposes. To learn more about ration cards, visit Finserv MARKETS.