In the past 14 months, 28 states and Union Territories have joined the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ platform, enabling 68.8 crore beneficiaries to get subsidised foodgrains from their place of work or residence under the National Food Security Act.
Under this scheme, the distribution of subsidised foodgrains is possible through nationwide portability of ration cards and the beneficiary can get foodgrains from any fair price shop across the country.
This has become possible by collating all details of beneficiaries in a central database, seeding the Addhaar number of beneficiaries and by installation of ePoS devices at FPS. Subsidised foodgrains were provided after biometric authentication using the ePoS devices.
Though the scheme was launched by then food minister Ram Vilas Paswan in August last year, the scheme came as a huge cushion for the poor during the nationwide lockdown. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said currently intra-state portability is also enabled in the 28 states and UTs that have joined the platform.
The government has set the March 2021 deadline for nationwide portability of ration cards covering 81 crore beneficiaries. Earlier, a ration card holder could buy foodgrains only from an FPS that was assigned to his/ her in the locality in which the beneficiary lives.