New Delhi (NVI): Rajasthan has become the 12th state to successfully undertake “One Nation One Ration Card system” reform stipulated by the Ministry of Finance and become eligible to get additional financial assistance of Rs 2,731 crore through open market borrowings.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance said, “Rajasthan has now joined 11 other states namely, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh, who have completed this reform.”
On the completion of One Nation One Ration Card system reform, these 12 states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 33,440 crore by the Department of Expenditure, it added.
Notably, ‘One Nation One Ration Card system is an important citizen centric reform. Its aims to ensures availability of ration to beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families, at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.
The ministry also informed that the reform especially empowers the mirgatory population mostly labourers, daily wagers, urban poor like rag picker, street dwellers, temporary workers in organised and unorganised sectors, domestic workers among others who frequently change their place of dwelling to be self reliant in food security.
It further enables the states in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus or duplicate/ineligible card holders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage.
Therefore, additional borrowing limit of 0.25 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is allowed to the states only on completion of aadhar seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries, and automation of all the FPSs in the state.
In view of the resource requirement to meet multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government earlier on May 17 last year enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 percent of their Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), the statement noted.
“Half of this special dispensation which is 1 percent of GSDP was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the states,” it added.
The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure are Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, Ease of doing business reform, Urban Local body/ utility reforms and Power Sector reforms.
So far, 17 states have carried out at least one of the four reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions, the ministry said, adding that, “Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued to the states stands at Rs 74,773 crore.”