Ration card portability implemented across India, with Assam being the latest operational

Assam has finally operationalized its ration portability service, implementing the Center’s “One Nation, One Ration Card” program across the country, the food ministry said Tuesday.

Under the ONORC (One Nation, One Ration Card), beneficiaries covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) can obtain their quota of subsidized food grains from any electronic point-of-sale device (ePoS)-compatible fair-price stores of their choice by utilizing of their existing receipt cards with biometric authentication.

“Assam has become the 36th state/UT to implement ONORC,” the ministry said in a statement.

With this, the ONORC program has been successfully implemented in all states and Union Territories, helping to transfer food security across the country, it said.

The implementation of ONORC started in August 2019.

According to the ministry, ration card portability has contributed significantly to insuring subsidized food grains to NFSA beneficiaries, especially migrant beneficiaries, during the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2019, about 71 crore portable transactions have taken place supplying food grains equivalent to about Rs 40,000 crore in food subsidies through transferability.

At present, an average of about 3 crore portable transactions are recorded monthly, delivering the subsidized NFSA and free PMGKAY food grains to beneficiaries everywhere with flexibility, it said.

During the COVID-19 period from April 2020 to date, the ministry said about 64 crore of portable transactions have been registered, delivering food grains equivalent to about Rs 36,000 crore in food subsidies through transferability.

Of these 64 crore portable transactions, 27.8 crore was registered under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), announced in March 2020 for the distribution of additional free food grains to NFSA beneficiaries to alleviate the hardship caused by Covid.

The government has also rolled out the mobile application ‘MERA RATION’ to take maximum advantage of the ONORC plan. The mobile app provides a host of useful real-time information to beneficiaries and is available in 13 languages. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 20 lakh times from Google Play Store.

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