New Delhi (NVI): Tamil Nadu has become the 11th state to successfully complete “One Nation One Ration Card system” reform stipulated by the Ministry of Finance and also become eligible to get additional financial assistance of Rs 4,813 crore through open market borrowings.
In an official statement, Finance Ministry said, “Tamil Nadu has now joined 10 other states namely Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh, who have completed this reform.”
On completion of One Nation One Ration Card system reform, these states have been granted additional borrowing permission of total Rs 30,709 crore by the Department of Expenditure, it added.
Notably, ‘One Nation One Ration Card System’ is an important citizen centric reform. It 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 empowers the mirgatory population mostly labourers, daily wagers, urban poor like rag picker, street dwellers, domestic workers among others who frequently change their place of dwelling to be self reliant in food security.
It also enables the states in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/ 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 the completion of Aadhar seeding of all the ration card and beneficiaries, and automation of all the Fair Price Shops (FPSs) in the State.
On May 17, 2020, in view of the resource requirement to meet challenges posed by the pandemic, the Centre enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 percent of their GSDP, the statement said.
“Half of this special dispensation i.e. 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 were implementation of one nation one ration card system, ease of doing business reform, urban local body/ utility reforms and power sector reforms.
So far, 11 States have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card System, 8 States have done ease of doing business reforms, and 4 States have done local body reforms, the ministry said, adding that, “Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States who have done the aforesaid reforms stands at Rs. 61,339 crore.”