Over 99% ration cards seeded with Aadhar to target genuine PDS beneficiaries

ONORC. Photo Courtesy: UNI

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New Delhi/IBNS: Around 99.8% of ration cards have been seeded with Aadhaar for the rightful targeting of Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries in the country.

Union Minister of State for Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti gave the information in a written reply today in the Lok Sabha.

The One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan has already been implemented by all 36 States/UTs, across the country, the correspondence said.

“Since its inception around 124 Crore portability transactions have been recorded under the ONORC plan, which includes both inter-State and intra-State transactions ensuring the food security of around 80 Crore beneficiaries in the country,” the minister wrote.

ONORC plan is proving to be especially beneficial to the migrant labourers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) etc. who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of temporary employment, the minister underscored.

Under the plan, the beneficiaries are empowered to lift their entitled foodgrain from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice, anywhere in the country, by using their existing ration card/Aadhaar card with biometric authentication on an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device.

ONORC also enables the family members of such migrant beneficiaries back home (in the village/hometown) to lift the part / balance foodgrains on the same ration card.

It has also facilitated the migrant beneficiaries/ family members to choose any FPS of their choice without being dependent on visiting only the tagged FPS in their ration cards.

Such flexibility was not available earlier under the traditional PDS.

Due to Aadhaar seeding and installation of ePoS devices at the FPSs, at present, around 97% of transactions in the country are done transparently through biometric authentication by use of ePoS devices monthly.

A 2017 notification issued under the Aadhaar Act 2016, which has been amended over time, states that Aadhaar linking for ration cards should be completed by 31/03/2024.

Until then, all States/UTs are advised not to remove any genuine beneficiaries/households from the list of eligible ration cards.

No one should be denied their entitled foodgrain quota under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) just because they don’t have an Aadhaar number or due to issues like biometric authentication failure, network problems, or technical reasons.

People should not be denied their entitled quota of foodgrains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) solely because they lack an Aadhaar number or face issues like biometric authentication failure due to network/connectivity/linking problems or any other technical reasons, the correspondence said.

However, till the Aadhaar is assigned to the beneficiaries, either of the eight identification documents shall be used for identification purpose i.e. (Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Passport, Driving License, Certificate of Identity with photo issued by Gazetted Officer/Tahsildar on official letter head, Address card having Name and Photo issued by Department of Posts, Kisan Photo Passbook and any other document as specified by State/UT Governments).