Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday asserted that the government is going to implement “One nation-one ration card” scheme in the whole country by June 30, 2020.
Paswan told mediapersons that work on linking all the ration cards all over the country with Aadhar cards and organizing food grain distribution mechanism in its entirety through Point of Sale (PoS) machine is in the final stage.
Currently Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura are 10 states where 100 per cent POS machines have been arranged for grain distribution and all PDS shops have been connected to the Internet. Now, in these states any beneficiary can take grain from any public distribution system shop in that state.
Paswan stated that arrangements are being made to ensure that by August 15, 2019, beneficiaries of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra will be able to take ration from anywhere in both states.
The minister asserted that work is being done on war footing to ensure “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme is implemented across the nation and for that data of all ration cards will be connected to one server and any beneficiary, anywhere in the country, will be able to pick up their grain from any public distribution system of their choice after June 30, 2020.
Paswan, in a recently held meeting with State Food Secretaries and State government officials along with officials of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) on June 27, reviewed the progress of this work.
The minister said work is in the final stage for integrating the entire public distribution system with the Depots online system (DOS) to ensure seamless working of the National Food Security Act and bringing further transparency in the storage and distribution process of food grains. FCI will provide an internet gateway for integrating DOS with State governments within 4 months. After that, within 2 months, States will integrate their Warehouse Management Systems with DOS. The Union Minister issued instructions to the officials of Department of Food and PD to continuously review the progress made in this regard.
Paswan further stated that the work done by the department of Food and Public Distribution is very important and it is almost a life line for the beneficiaries wherein 612 lakh ton of food grains stored in warehouses of FCI, CWC, SWCs and private godowns are distributed among 81 crore beneficiaries annually. Paswan asserted that focus is on use of Information Technology right from the time of procurement of food grains till its distribution which will help in increasing the overall efficiency of the entire process, while maintaining transparency and curbing corruption.
FCI has implemented the Depot Online System (DOS) in all its 563 warehouses and CWC has implemented it in 144 depots. Apart from this, procurement of food grains by the FCI has also been made online while purchase, storage and distribution system of most States has been made online in some form or the other.
Paswan emphasized that it is imperative that there is a seamless flow of information online between FCI and States and therefore they need to be integrated so that exact information on procurement and distribution across the nation is available. The Union Minister insisted that there should be a system for storage of all such qualitative and quantitative information which can then be accessed through the ‘annavitran’ portal and the specially designed dashboard which he personally monitors in the morning meetings with senior officials of the Ministry.