‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme, mobile depots to ensure fair distribution: Chautala

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Published on Jul 30, 2020 11:38 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Gurugram

To provide ration to needy people and bolster the public distribution system (PDS) of the state, the Haryana government may introduce mobile ration depots in densely populated areas, where conventional fair price shops often fail to meet the demand. Dushyant Chautala, deputy chief minister, Haryana, announced the proposed plan on Thursday, while speaking at a programme on the ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme. Later Chautala also distributed ration to migrants workers from other states at John Hall in Civil Lines.

“Existing fair price shops are unable to meet the demand of the people. As such, mobile ration depots can be set up to serve in the densely populated areas of the state, in addition to the existing fair price shops,” said Chautala, while addressing the gathering. He added that an example of this mobile unit has set by the food supplies department at John Hall, which distributed free ration to the migrant workers, who had gathered at the programme, from a mobile unit set up specifically for this purpose.

Addressing the gathering, the deputy CM said that the new ration scheme will have three significant benefits for the poor, who avail ration at subsidised rates from the government-designated shops. First, any ration card holder will be able to take his or her share of ration from any ration depot wherever ration is available. Second, any ration card holder, irrespective of the state to which he or she belongs, will be able to get his/her share of prescribed ration from any other state as well. Third, the ration card holder can also get the ration from the depot of his choice by assessing the quality and quantity of the ration being offered, said Chautala.

“The problems faced by migrant workers to avail ration during the Covid-19 lockdown led to the idea of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme. The facility of keeping a digital record by attaching a POS machine with an e-weighing machine has also been started in Haryana. With this, the public distribution system in the state is now being digitally monitored,” he said.

Under the scheme, the beneficiaries would be able to get his or her share of entitled foodgrains from any fair price shop in the country. The scheme was introduced in four states in 2019 as a pilot project. and at present has been implemented across 20 states in India. Under this scheme, a standard ration card with biometrics records of the holder has been prepared that can be used across the country, said officials. Haryana was among the first states to have implemented the scheme.

Director, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, Dr Chander Shekhar Khare, said that this scheme will curb the problem of fake ration cards, while ration depot holders will also be prompted to give good quality ration in full quantity. Khare also informed that this scheme will be implemented in the entire country by March 2021.

Benefits for Contractual Workers

Earlier in the day, the deputy CM also chaired the second meeting of the State Advisory Contract Labour Board held at the PWD Guest House.

In the meeting, Chautala said it has been decided to link all registered sites and organisations employing contract labour with the Haryana Udyam Memorandum (HUM) within the next six months.

With this move all contract workers, especially construction workers will have to be registered which will help them get all the benefits prescribed under the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) rules and Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Act, he said.

It was also decided in this meeting that, in the next 6 months, it will be ensured that all organisations employing contractual labour have a HUM number. Under this, the registration of contractors and workers will be done with their Aadhaar number. The labour department will also confirm that every such organisation is registered. After February 1, 2021, if any contractor or organisation is not found registered, then strict action will be taken against it, he said.

The second important agenda in the meeting was to allow employment of contract labour in the units related to the rubber industry. In this case, it was decided to invite suggestions from all industrial associations and trade unions, following which the labour board will take a decision.

A number of trade union representatives also called upon the deputy CM and apprised him of the grievances faced by workers particularly because of the lay-offs during and after the lockdown.

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