Union Finance Ministry. (PC-PTI)
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced that 17 states have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card system making them eligible for an additional borrowing of 0.25 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
States have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs. 37,600 crore by the Department of Expenditure, MoF.
Uttrakhand became the latest state to adopt the 'One Nation One Ration Card' introduced as a citizen-centric reform. Its implementation ensures the availability of ration to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families, at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country, said the official release.
Uttar Pradesh is the biggest beneficiary with an additional borrowing window of Rs 4,851 crore, followed by Karnataka Rs 4,509 crore and Gujarat Rs 4,352 crore.
"The reform also enables the States in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/ duplicate/ineligible cardholders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage," the release added.
Further, to ensure seamless inter-state portability of a ration card, Aadhar seeding of all ration cards as well as biometric authentication of beneficiaries through automation of all Fair Price Shops (FPSs) with the installation of electronic point of sale (e-PoS) devices are essential.
Therefore, an additional borrowing limit of 0.25 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is allowed to the states only on completion of both of the actions, first, Aadhar Seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries in the State and second, automation of all the FPSs in the State.
Moreover, in view of the resource required to meet multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government had on 17th May 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the States by 2 percent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation i.e. 1 percent of GSDP has linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the States.
The four citizen-centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure were (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, (b) Ease of doing business reform, (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms, and (d) Power Sector reforms.
"The reform especially empowers the migratory population mostly laborers, daily wagers, urban poor like rag pickers, street dwellers, temporary workers in organised and unorganised sectors, domestic workers, etc, who frequently change their place of dwelling to be self-reliant in food security," stated the official release adding that this technology-driven reform enables the migrant beneficiaries to get their entitled quota of food grains from any electronic point of sale (e-PoS) enabled fair Price Shops of their choice anywhere in the country.