New Delhi: Announcing the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that the government is working to make ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ a reality soon. Addressing the nation via a televised speech, PM Modi said that efforts are being made to provide one ration card that can be used across the country by the poor.
“Now a ration card is also being arranged for the whole of India ie one nation, one ration card,” he said. PM Modi said that the biggest beneficiaries of the scheme will migrant workers. “The biggest benefit of the One Nation One Ration Card scheme will be to those poor workers who leave their villages and migrate elsewhere for livelihood,” the prime minister said.
Under the ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from any Fair Price Shop in the country using the same ration card. The scheme was initially expected to be implemented across the country from June 1 but hit a roadblock due to the covid-19 pandemic situation. Recently, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to consider the feasibility of ‘temporarily’ adopting the ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown period to enable the migrant workers and economically weaker sections (EWS) get subsidised foodgrain.
The biggest announcement in PM Modi’s 16-minute speech, however, was the extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna till Diwali ie till the end of November. Under the scheme, five kgs of wheat or rice and one kg of pulses per month will be given free of cost to the poor. The scheme was initially rolled out for three months. PM Modi said it will cost the government Rs 90,000 crore more and will benefit 80 crore people in the country.