It’s not uncommon for beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) to miss out on their quota of monthly food grains for reasons ranging from disability to old age to failure of the biometric verification system.
But the Madhya Pradesh government has now found a solution. Under the Aadhaar-enabled PDS, the respective grain quota is given to the nominee after verification of his biometric details.
Joint Director in Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department H S Parmar said that as many as 18,000 families in the state are getting their grain quota through nominees. Some other states, too, have started the nominee policy but the number in MP is the largest. He said the nominee policy is also useful for daily wagers whose fingerprints can’t be verified despite having valid Aadhaar numbers.
MP also has the distinction of implementing the “one state-one ration card” policy within the state since October. The policy allows, for example, a labourer who migrates for work within the state to get his monthly quota at the new place.
It’s not that the portability scheme is foolproof because many a time the entire family does not migrate to the new place. Yet, it’s still an improvement because earlier such a family had no option but to forego the entire quota. In December alone, as many as 2.18 lakh families across the state benefited from the scheme.
According to Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar, under the Aadhaar-enabled system, MP now provides ration to 83 lakh families. Previously, the state used to supply ration to only 18 lakh families.
The minister said fair price shops have been opened in almost every gram panchayat. When new shops were being opened it was ensured that one-third shops were given to women. The minister said a system of grading has been introduced for fair price shops. Shops will be graded on parameters like the number of days they open etc.
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