THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ration card holders in Kerala will soon be able to buy their monthly allocation from 11 more states, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. Twelve states are included in the first phase of the Centre’s “One Nation, One Ration Card” national PDS portability programme to be rolled out in January 2020. Under this, residents of these states can buy their ration goods from a fair price shop of their choice in any of the member states. The other states are Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura.
Of the total 86.65 lakh families in the state under four PDS categories, only 37.22 lakh families in the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) categories are eligible for inter-state portability. Only foodgrain are included in the programme and kerosene is excluded. The Non-Priority Subsidy and Non-Priority Non-Subsidy categories are excluded from inter-state portability since they do not fall under the National Food Security Act.
The monthly entitlement for the AAY family is 30 kg of rice and five kg wheat. Families in the PHH categories will get four kg of rice and one kg of wheat for each member. Sources with the Civil Supplies Department said that the second trial run of the system will be held this week. The first round held in October, when the portability plan included just two states - Kerala and Karnataka, was successful.
Officers said the inter-state portability will be of immense help to migrant labourers working in Kerala. “Most of them are from Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. These states will be included in the portability programme in the subsequent phases,” an officer said.
Intra-state portability of ration cards is a big success in Kerala. Around 0.72% of cardholders utilised it in the initial month of April 2018. It had a steady growth later, 14.38% in January 2019. 10% in October 2019 and 20.14% up to December third week.