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One nation-one ration card

Topics covered:

Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security.

One nation-one ration card

 

What to study?

For prelims: key features of the proposed scheme, PDS.

For mains: Need for, significance of the scheme and challenges in its implementation.

 

Context: Government has launched One Nation-One Ration Card scheme on pilot basis in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and Gujarat.

Families who have food security cards can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in these states but their ration cards should be linked with Aadhar Number to avail this service.

 

About the scheme:

One Nation One Ration Card (RC) will ensure all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.

Benefits: no poor person is deprived of getting subsidised foodgrains under the food security scheme when they shift from one place to another. It also aims to remove the chance of anyone holding more than one ration card to avail benefits from different states.

Significance: This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption. 

 

Challenges:

Prone to corruption: Every state has its own rules for Public Distribution System (PDS). If ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ is implemented, it will further boost corruption in an already corrupted Public Distribution System.

The scheme will increase the woes of the common man and, the middlemen and corrupt PDS shop owners will exploit them.

Tamil Nadu has opposed the proposal of the Centre, saying it would result in undesirable consequences and is against federalism.

 

Sources: the Hindu.