Uptick in use of ration card scheme in Delhi, days after roll-out
At least 400 ration card holders registered in other states availed food grains from fair price shops in Delhi on Thursday, up from only two such transactions on Tuesday, a day after the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme was notified in the national capital by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Government records seen by HT said that in the three days since the scheme was notified in Delhi, around 430 ration card holders registered in other states have availed food grains here. Of these, around 400 availed rations on Thursday, 28 on Wednesday and only two on Tuesday.
Of the 430 such ration card holders, 224 are from Bihar, 190 from Uttar Pradesh, and the remaining from Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Odisha, showed government records said.
The state government on Monday issued orders for the complete roll-out of the central programme from this month, following a June 29 Supreme Court order that asked Delhi, West Bengal, Assam and Chhattisgarh to implement the scheme in its entirety by July 31
Senior officials said the numbers are expected to increase in the coming days as awareness of the scheme spreads and more ration are distributed in the city’s 2,000 fair price shops.
Delhi has 1.78 million ration card households, which translates to around 7.2 million beneficiaries. According to government estimates, migrants with ration cards registered in other states will add another 200,000 households, translating to around another million beneficiaries.
Currently, ration beneficiaries are entitled to a monthly supply of food grains and sugar under the National Food Security Act, 2013, which covers the general public distribution system (PDS), and additional 5kg of foodgrains per month under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) — is a special arrangement in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected household incomes across India.
In June, when a pilot of the scheme was initiated engaging 42 fair price shops in the city, 373 ration card holders from other states availed its benefits. Of the total such card holders, 212 were from Uttar Pradesh, 150 from Bihar, and the remaining were from Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Jharkhand, showed government records.
Senior government officials said that the numbers roughly reflect the demographic composition of Delhi’s migrant population.
Delhi has the second highest population of inter-state migrants in India, according to 2011 census data on migration released in July 2019 -- trailing only Maharashtra, which is a much larger and more populous state. The data said that more than 6.3 million people in the city – roughly 40% of its population recorded in the 2011 Census – were migrants from other states. It also said that roughly three-fourth of the total migrants were from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and a large number of them had arrived in the city between 2001 and 2011.
“The Delhi government has started the ration distribution in line with new practices through e-PoS from all fair price shops in Delhi to each PDS beneficiary… The distribution under ONORC scheme is now also being implemented through all e-PoS enabled fair price shops in Delhi and this facility will be available to all migrant beneficiaries under national portability scheme,” said Delhi’s food minister Imran Hussain.
Shailendra Kumar, president of the Delhi Public Distribution System Welfare Association, said, “There were some glitches initially. The process has picked up now. People are getting ration without hassles.”
Monday’s order, issued by the state food supplies and consumer affairs department, stated that the distribution of ration under the National Food Security Act, 2013, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, and any other scheme implemented through fair price shops in the Capital will henceforth be done only through electronic point of sale (e-PoS) machines – which are Aadhaar-based biometric devices.