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One Nation One Ration Card system reform – Tamil Nadu becomes the 11th State to complete the reform

News: Tamil Nadu has become the 11th State in the country to successfully undertake the “One Nation One Ration Card system” reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

Facts:

    • One Nation One Ration Card(ONORC) System: It is an important citizen-centric reform. Its implementation ensures the availability of ration to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.
    • Features: To ensure seamless inter-state portability of a ration card, Aadhar seeding of all ration cards as well as biometric authentication of beneficiaries through automation of all Fair Price Shops (FPSs) with the installation of electronic point of sale (e-PoS) devices are essential under the system.

Benefits of One Nation One Ration Card:

    • Empowers migrant Population: It empowers the migratory population who frequently change their place of dwelling as migrant beneficiaries can get their entitled quota of food grains from any electronic point of sale(e-PoS) enabled fair Price Shops of their choice anywhere in the country.
    • Better Targeting: The reform enables the States in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/ duplicate/ineligible card-holders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage.

Are there any benefits given by the Centre for the implementation of the ONORC System?

  • To meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India had in May 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the States by 2% of their Gross State Domestic Product(GSDP).
  • Half of this borrowing limit i.e 1% of GSDP has linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the States.
    • The four citizen-centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure were (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, (b) Ease of doing business reform, (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms and (d) Power Sector reforms.
  • Therefore, an additional borrowing limit of 0.25% of the GSDP is allowed to the States only on completion of both of the following actions: 1) Aadhar Seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries in the State and 2) Automation of all the FPSs in the State.

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