4 more states to implement ration card portability by March:Paswan

New Delhi, Feb 28 () Four more states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, will roll out the ration card portability by next month, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday.

The government aims to implement ration card portability in the entire country from June 1 under the initiative called 'One Nation, One Ration Card'.

Under the initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA from any Fair Price Shop in the country using the same ration card.

"Already, 12 states have implemented the ration card portability. Four more states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will do by March and the rest other states by June 1," Paswan said at an agri-summit organised by BusinessLine newspaper here.

The portability of ration card will end corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS) and help beneficiaries avail their entitlement anywhere in the country, he said.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharasthra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand and Tripura are 12 states where ration card portability has been implemented, he added.

The minister also said that no new ration card will be required under the 'One Nation, One Ration Card' initiative.

The minister said that direct benefit transfer of PDS foodgrains being implemented in Chandigarh, Puducherry and Dadra and Nagar Haveli on a pilot basis has not been successful because of lack of bank facilities and power shortage.

In many states, door-step delivery of foodgrains has been initiated. The PDS has been streamlined as Aadhar details have been seeded with 90 per cent of ration cards in the country and point of sale machines have been installed in 96 per cent of the fair price shops, he added.

Under the NFSA, about 75 crore beneficiaries have been covered so far against the target of 81.35 crore, as per official data.

On price rise in essential items like onion, the minister said unfortunately consumers in the country cry when prices of commodities produced by farmers go up and don't bother when prices of products like shoe or watch rises.

"This kind of approach is not good. But this is the reality," he said, emphasising the need to change this situation. LUX MRMR
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