In a major step towards achieving the objective of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan today inaugurated the inter-State portability in two clusters of adjoining States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and Gujarat & Maharashtra. This will enable beneficiaries from either States’ cluster to avail the benefits accruing to them under the National Food Security Act from any of the two States.Addressing the media after inaugurating the inter-State portability Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that today marks the beginning of National level portability of Ration Cards which has begun with the two States’ clusters.Shri Paswan further stated that after leveraging the progress under Computerization scheme, 11 States/UT of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura have implemented the intra-State portability of ration card holders to lift the entitled foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop within their State.Further, it is envisaged that the inter-State portability shall be introduced in the 11 States having already implemented intra-State portability by 1st January 2020.
Shri Paswan further added that all other States/UTs having attained requisite readiness for inter-State portability, shall be integrated in a phased manner. Thereby, enabling nation-wide portability of ration card holders to receive subsidized foodgrains under NFSA from anywhere in the country by 1st June 2020. The Union Minister said that this initiative shall be very helpful for the large migratory population of the country who migrate from one part of the country to other in search of job/employment, marriage, or any other reason and find difficulty in accessing subsidized foodgrains in the present system.To sustain the reforms brought in by the ongoing scheme of ‘End-to-End Computerization of TPDS Operations’ and to introduce new reforms, the Department of Food & Public Distribution, is targeting implementation of nation-wide portability in distribution of subsidised foodgrains to the beneficiaries without the need of obtaining a new ration card under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ System.Installation of electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices at Fair Price Shops (FPSs) is the main enabler of portability of ration card holders, supported by the biometric/Aadhaar authentication.More than 4.1 lakh (77%) ePoS devices are already operational across the country. 25 States/UTs have either completed the installation in all FPSs or having significant progress in this area. Further, more than 85% ration cards (at least one member) in the country have been seeded with the Aadhaar numbers of the beneficiaries.