The government has given a one year deadline till June 30, 2020 to states and Union Territories for implementing the 'one nation, one ration card' system, under which beneficiaries can buy subsidised foodgrains from ration shops in any part of the country.
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said already 10 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharasthra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura -- are providing portability of Public Distribution System (PDS) entitlements.
"By next June 30, 2020, 'one nation, one ration card' should be implemented without fail in the entire country. We have written letters to the state government to fast track the implementation of this system," Paswan told reporters.
The new mechanism will ensure no poor is deprived of PDS entitlement if that person shifts from one place to another. The system will also help remove fake ration card holders, he added.
Paswan further said there are 11 states, including Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, which can easily implement the PDS portability within their state as Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been installed in all ration shops.
This is one of the 100-days agenda of the Modi 2.0 government, he added. Since November 2016, the government is implementing the National Food Security Act, under which foodgrains are supplied every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1/3 per kg to over 80 crore people in the country.
(With PTI inputs)