The secretary also informed that in the last 7-8 years, around 4.7 crore ration cards, involving an estimated 18-19 crore beneficiaries, have been cancelled because of various reasons. New cards are also issued by the states and UTs to eligible beneficiaries on a regular basis.
To begin with, the new web-based facility will be available in 11 states and Union Territories on a pilot basis. By the end of this month, all 36 States and UTs will be covered on the platform.
The 11 states and UTs are Assam, Goa, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
“The purpose is that many homeless poor don’t get ration card issued because for their livelihood they move from one place to another,” the secretary said.
“At their current place of residence, they don’t get ration card issued because they are not residents of that place and they have come from elsewhere. At the original place, they don’t get ration card, because they are not living there. So its a very tricky dilemma for them,” Pandey said.
According to him, domestic helps and workers at shops-establishments can seek help from any individual who can actually fill their data and apply for ration card.
Once the data is fed into the system, the same will be shared with the states and UTs concerned for verification purpose.
“It is basically further empowering people whose voice may not be heard otherwise to get access to what legally is due to them,” the secretary said.
The common registration facility is an initiative to collect data of persons desirous of registering for inclusion under the NFSA while residing anywhere in the country.
This facility will help states/UTs in identifying and including the eligible beneficiaries under the coverage of the NFSA as per the established inclusion and exclusion criteria.
All the 36 states/UTs have been onboarded under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan.
Pandey said that once these homeless, destitutes, migrants and other eligible beneficiaries get their ration cards, then they can take foodgrains entitlements from any ration shops in the cards under the ONORC programme. Currently, 14 states and UTs have covered all the eligible beneficiaries under the NFSA in their respective areas.