Highlights significance of scheme for ensuring food security for vulnerable sections across country
JAMMU, NOVEMBER 02: Union Secretary, Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), Sanjeev Chopra, inaugurated an awareness programme on “One Nation One Ration Card” here at Udhyog Bhawan today.
Union Secretary Department of Food public distribution, while addressing on the occasion, highlighted the importance of the scheme for ensuring food security for vulnerable sections across the country. He emphasized that Government of India has been making all out efforts to ensure success of the flagship programme, for the larger interest of the beneficiaries. He also elaborated to beneficiaries the highlights of the scheme and need for availing and promoting benefits under the scheme.
To symbolize the program’s success and government’s commitment towards food security, Sanjeev Chopra personally distributed fortified rice packets among the beneficiaries present at the event. This gesture marked a significant step toward realizing “One Nation One Ration Card” initiative’s goals.
“The program’s launch and the positive responses from beneficiaries in Jammu demonstrates the program’s effectiveness in facilitating access to essential food items and ensuring that no eligible citizen goes without basic necessities, regardless of their location within India”, maintained the Union Secretary.
During the event, Commissioner Secretary Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Zubair Ahmed, made a detailed presentation on coverage under the Public Distribution System in J&K. He revealed that the Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs is currently providing free and subsidized food grains to 25 lakh households, benefiting 98 lakh beneficiaries. Of these, 66,56,907 beneficiaries, covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), receive free food grains, while 31,55,292 beneficiaries receive food grains at highly subsidized rate in the NPHH group.
Commissioner Secretary said the department has been actively working on reforms and technology interventions to make the Public Distribution System more transparent and convenient for beneficiaries. Additionally, J&K has been providing additional top-up of up to 10 kilograms per month to Priority Households under the Prime Minister’s Food Supplementation for Priority Households Scheme. Statutory mechanisms have been established and strengthen to ensure efficient operations of the Public Distribution System for the greater public good, he added.
He said distribution of 100% fortified rice across all districts of Jammu and Kashmir, which commenced in October 2023, under NFSA is one of the noteworthy developments. Moreover, more than one million deletions were made during the De-duplication exercise, while 89,427 genuine households were also added to the Public Distribution System.
“One Nation One Ration Card” initiative, aimed at facilitating inter-state portability, was rolled out in August 2020 in J&K and is now available in all districts at 6,413 Point of Sale (PoS) devices, he informed. He also apprised that Jammu and Kashmir is ranked 9th in the country for implementation of this scheme, with 79,530 ONORC and 21,08,150 portability transactions executed thus far.
Zubair Ahmed said the department has made substantial progress in PDS reforms by leveraging technology. Digitization of Ration Cards and Beneficiaries has reached 100%, and Aadhaar seeding status of Ration Cards and Beneficiaries at all levels is also 100%. Additionally, the automation of Fair Price Shops, including the installation of ePOS devices, is 100%. The tracking of the supply chain management of food grains stands at 97%, and Aadhaar/OTP authenticated transactions are at 94%.
A PowerPoint presentation also made by Union Deputy Secretary, DFPD, L.P Sharma, during the event explained “One Nation One Ration Card” program’s objectives, emphasizing its role in streamlining the distribution of food essentials and enabling beneficiaries to access their entitled rations seamlessly, regardless of their location within the country.
One of the most heartening aspects of the event was the testimonials from beneficiaries, particularly migrant laborers, who shared their experiences and expressed their joy at receiving food grains in Jammu, despite hailing from outside Jammu & Kashmir. This underscores the tangible impact the program is having on the ground, particularly for those with mobile lifestyles who otherwise face challenges in accessing essential food supplies.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Labour Commissioner J&K, Abdul Rashid War, Director FCS&CA Jammu, Rifat Kohli, General Manager, FCI, Kaushik Das, and Consultant DFPD, GoI, Khushboo Kumari were present on the occasion.
About 120 beneficiaries and FPS dealers attended the awareness programme. The event was broadcast live over DFPD’s official YouTube page.