Why Mamata Banarjee is wary about Centre’s “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme

Why Mamata Banarjee is wary about Centre’s “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme

Issuance of Ration Cards:

As per the PDS (Control) Order 2001 the State Government shall issue distinctive ration cards to Above Poverty Line, Below Poverty Line and Antyodaya families and shall conduct periodical review and checking of the ration cards as per paragraph 2 of the Annexe to this Order

National Food Security Act, (NFSA) 2013:

The National Food Security Act, (NFSA) 2013 which was enacted on July 5, 2013, by the Lok Sabha is an innovative exemplar to food security from welfare to rights based approach. As per this act three fourth of the rural population and half of the urban population are entitled to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS):

With a view to reducing the burden of food subsidy and targeting it better to the really needy people, the Government of India adopted the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) from June 1, 1997. TPDS aims at providing food grains to people below the poverty line at highly subsidized prices from the PDS and food grains to people above the poverty line at much higher prices than the poverty line Thus, the TPDS adopted by the Government of India maintains the universal character of the PDS but adds a special focus on the people below the poverty line (known as BPL).

One Nation One Ration Card:

To ease the problems faced by migrant labours and daily wagers government of India announced on Jun 6, 2019, to launch the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme in one year. The government’s ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ initiative that will largely cover migrant labourers and daily wagers will come into force across the country from June 1, 2020, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.
Under this scheme, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled food grains under the National Food Security Act from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country using the same ration card.
This would be made available after biometric/Aadhaar authentication on ePoS (electronic Point of Sale) devices, Mr Paswan, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution told the Lok Sabha.

Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card scheme:

On Friday, Aug 9, 2019, center kick-started inter-state portability of ration card between Telangana-Andhra Pradesh as well as Maharashtra-Gujarat. This means cardholders living in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can buy their quota of ration from the Public Distribution System (PDS) in either of the states. Similar would be the case in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

On Monday, Jan 20, 2020, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, announced that the residents of India’s 12 states are getting direct benefits of government under “One Nation, One Ration Card” scheme while the intera-portability under this scheme has already been started in 16 other states.
Paswan, after reviewing the performance of this scheme in Patna on Monday said that the one nation one ration card scheme in 12 states namely AP, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tripura, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Punjab are completely in practice.

“Besides these states, four other states namely Bihar, UP, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh, have adopted this scheme partially in some areas but works are in progress to cover the entire areas in these states fully”, Paswan claimed.

West Bengal Opts Out From “One Nation, One Ration Card” Plan!

However, as per a newspaper report published on Thursday, Feb 20, 2020, West Bengal government is wary about the centre’s “One Nation, One Ration Card” plan and is planning to opt-out from this scheme. It is said that Chief Minister is averse to the “sharing of personalized details” of beneficiaries as she is opposing the new citizenship matrix, especially the National Population Register (NPR). In all her public meetings Mamata Banarjee is advising people of Bengal that they must not share their personal details with anybody.

By opting out of one nation one card a large no. of labours who work outside Bengal would be deprived of their legal rights to get food grains at lowest prices, but politics is more sacred than suffering of masses, so who cares?