The facility of supporting ‘ration cards’ from out-of-state residents has been extended to 12 states in India, according to data from the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.
Ration cards in 12 states have been made interoperable with each other and holders of such cards can obtain food grains at subsidized rates from ration outlets in any of these states.
The states covered under the scheme so far are Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Tripura.
However, non-grain allocations such as kerosene and sugar are not available under the portability scheme.
A uniform price of Rs 3 per kg of rice, Rs 2 for wheat and Rs 1 for other grains will be charged.
The move has been made possible due to the introduction of Aadhaar-based biometric verification of customers at ration shops.
The work towards making the scheme inter-operable across states is being carried out via central government’s Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) scheme.
The move is helpful to people who move about the country a lot, and does away with the need for them to secure new ration cards whenever they move.
The scheme was launched about nine months ago by introducing interoperability in two pairs of states — Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra and Gujarat.
At the time, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said that all states will be linked to the scheme by June 1 this year.
However, the ministry has, in an update, said that the nationwide roll-out of the scheme will depend on the pace of roll-out of modernization of the public distribution system by the remaining states.
” Further integration of remaining States/UTs depends on the readiness of States/UTs to implement the same,” the ministry said in an update.
India’s public distribution system is one of the world’s largest welfare programs, and costs around Rs 1.4 lakh cr per year.