Gangtok: A day after Sikkim government implemented ‘One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)’ in the state, food and civil supplies minister Arun Upreti on Thursday said that the scheme will not violate Article 371F of the Indian constitution, which provides special status to the Himalayan state.

The ONORC scheme is aimed at enabling migrant workers and their family members to buy subsidised ration from any fair price shop anywhere in India under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

The flagship programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aimed at the wellbeing of BPL families and migrant workers using their existing Ration Card with Aadhaar authentication on the electronic point of sale (e-POS) devices available in all fair price shops (FPS).

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had directed all states and Union territories to implement the system, which allows for inter- and intra-state portability, by July 31.

On Wednesday, Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Golay launched the scheme along with fair price shops (FPS) automation through e-PoS devices at Samman Bhawan in state capital Gangtok.

While launching the scheme, CM Golay said: “One Nation One Ration Card will put an end to the misuse of ration cards and fraudulent beneficiaries. It enables beneficiaries to avail ration throughout the country and will be of great help to the migrant labours. It promotes transparency and accountability for the distribution of food grains under the public distribution system.”

Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Golay launching the ‘One nation one ration card’ scheme on Wednesday

The flagship initiative will enable the beneficiaries to avail ration from any fair price shops in the country, said Golay. This will also enable the migrant workers to draw their authorised ration with ease, he added.

According to minister Upreti, ONORC requires the person to be registered and linked with his voter ID card or Aadhaar card to be a beneficiary.

“The Aadhaar card can be of a person from any state. Similarly, residents of Sikkim can benefit in other states, when they are in need. It is a form of give and take, it won’t hamper Sikkimese people. Our government will never go against something that violates the rights of our people in Sikkim,” Upreti said.

The scheme directly benefits 3,24,081 people under priority households giving them 5kg rice per head, said Upreti.

“This will be alongside Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), which identifies 16,500 households as beneficiaries who receive 35 kg rice at Rs 3 per kg along with 1 kg sugar. The allocation of the quantity for the beneficiary will be fixed at specific ration shops, and the same will be tracked by ePoS devices, with easy to handle operations, tracking the persons allocation right till the centre’s database,” Upreti said.

Sikkim government had recently passed a law to register all the labourers in the state, effectively targetting the migrant workers to benefit them and keep the influx under scrutiny.

The minister told EastMojo, “The new labour laws were not aimed at One Nation One Ration Card, but to help the migrant workers during the pandemic. The registration has now helped in identifying their proper address, along with scrutiny.”

Also read | Sikkim’s lone Olympian Tarundeep Rai exits after losing to Israel athlete

The minister asserted that there will be no need for re-registration for those with ration cards, the concept of old or new based on date of issue will not be considered. “Only the registration and linking with Aadhaar will be a necessity. If that is done, then they will get the benefits,” he added.

The FPS automation through e-PoS devices has been categorically designed given the difficult terrain of Sikkim with three modes of distribution:

  • Online distribution through biometric authentication of beneficiaries under NFSA, 2013.
  • Fully offline distribution in the dark zone or border areas where no internet connectivity is available.
  • Partially/Hybrid distribution in the fluctuating network due to being a difficult terrain and e-PoS application will automatically switch to online-offline mode as per network availability.

Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment