Empowered Committee on schemes for PDS Reforms 

#GS2 #Governance 

Secretary, Food & Public Distribution today chaired the meeting of  Empowered Committee of the Department on schemes for PDS Reforms with CEO (UIDAI), DG (NIC), Food Secretaries of 4 States as members and representatives of MeitY and FCI,  to review and approve extension of Integrated Management of Public Distribution Scheme (IM-PDS) under which  the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC) plan is being implemented all over India.  

  • With a view to ensuring that work done under the IMPDS is continued and further strengthened, it is being considered for extension beyond March 2021. 
  • The Empowered Committee also reviewed the progress of FPS Automation, ONORC plan, Aadhaar generation/seeding and development of mobile application aimed to help migrant NFSA beneficiaries to register themselves and take the full benefit of ONORC.   
  • The Department is also planning to implement national help line number in various States/UT to help the migrant NFSA beneficiaries availing portability under ONORC. 

PDS reforms 

Digitization and AADHAR seeding:  

  • Cutting pilferage from the PDS is becoming far easier with almost all of the 23 crore ration cards in the country being digitised and 56% of these already seeded with unique identification number Aadhaar.  
  • Besides, several states have now installed electronic point of sale (ePOS) devices at their fair price shops to track the sale of foodgrains to actual cardholders on a real-time basis. 

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT scheme)  

  • For subsidies has resulted in significant savings across welfare schemes, including Rs 27,000 crore in PDS, LPG distribution and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. 

Computerized Fair Price Shops  

  • FPS automated by installing ‘Point of Sale’device to swap the ration card. It authenticates the beneficiaries and records the quantity of subsidized grains given to a family. 

Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) scheme 

  • The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), through 'One Nation One Ration Card' system.  

'One Nation One Ration Card' system 

  • This system enables the migratory ration card holders/beneficiaries to lift their entitled foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice in the country by using their existing/same ration card issued in their home State/UT after biometric/Aadhaar authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs.  
  • Under this initiative, there is no added burden on any State/UT, as the quota of foodgrains distributed to other States’/UTs’ beneficiaries through national portability, shall be periodically reconciled and adjusted between concerned States/UTs.  
  • Existing system of foodgrains distribution by States/UTs to own beneficiaries remains same/ unaltered, as this system intends to largely benefit the migratory beneficiaries under NFSA who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment, etc. across the country. 
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