Announcing the second tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday informed that free foodgrains for an estimated 8 crore migrant workers for next two months at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore. She said 8 crore migrant workers who do not have either central or state PDS card, will get 5 kilogram of grains per person and 1 kilogram of ‘chana’ for two months. Follow Nirmala Sitharaman PC Live updates
In order to ensure migrants be able to use their ration cards across states, the finance minister said PDS rations cards will be made portable, adding this would benefit 67 crore beneficiaries or 83 per cent of PDS beneficiaries, in 23 states by August. “By March 2021, 100 per cent coverage under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ will be done,” Sitharaman said in the media briefing.
What is One Nation, One Ration Card scheme?
The government had last year launched the pilot project for the inter-state portability of ration cards between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and between Maharashtra and Gujarat, as part of its ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme. Since ration cards are issued by state governments, this implied that beneficiaries could procure food grains only from the designated ration shops within the concerned state. If a beneficiary were to shift to another state, he/she would need to apply for a new ration card in the second state. There were other complications. For instance, after marriage, a woman needed to get her name removed from the ration card issued to her parents, and get it added to the ration card issued to her husband’s family.
The ONORC scheme attempts to address this gap in TPDS delivery. Essentially, the scheme has been launched keeping in mind the internal migration of our country, since people keep moving to different states in search of better job opportunities and higher standards of living. As per Census 2011, 4.1 crore people were inter-state migrants and 1.4 crore people migrated (inter and intra-state) for employment.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines