The Department of Food and Public Distribution is all set to make changes in the eligibility standards for people who take ration from government ration shops across the country. The department which works under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has held several rounds of meetings with the states in this regard. The format for changing the standard is almost finalised. It is expected that the new standards will be implemented in this month, on the basis of which the eligibility of people to take ration will be decided in future.
According to the department, 80 crore people across the country are taking advantage of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) including many those who have become financially prosperous in the past few years. Hence, the Ministry is going to make changes in the standards of eligibility.
Sudhanshu Pandey, secretary in the Department of Food and Public Distribution, said that for the last six months, meetings have been held with the states regarding the change in the standards.
“Incorporating the suggestions given by the states, new standards are being prepared for the eligible persons to take ration from ration shops. The standards will be finalised this month. After the implementation of the new standard, only eligible persons will get the benefit,” he said.
According to the department, the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme has been implemented in 32 states and Union Territories till December 2020.
About 69 crore beneficiaries, roughly 86 percent of the population, covered under NFSA have registered themselves for ONORC. On average, about 1.5 crore people are taking benefit of ONORC by moving from one place to another every month.
In March this year, the central government launched the ‘Mera Ration mobile app’ for the ration cardholders. In the app, the cardholder will get the information about the nearest ration shop as well as his status on the ration card and the facilities available at the ration shops.