The Public Distribution System (PDS) in India is set for a major haul. Come July and it would be mandatory to provide your Aadhar Card number to procure monthly supplies of free ration. The decision has been made by Food and Civil Supplies Department of Central Government.
Aadhar Card Number Is Mandatory to Procure Supplies of Free Ration
June 30 has been earmarked as the deadline to provide Aadhar Card numbers to the associated PDS centres, failing which families would not receive their monthly supply for July. This move comes at an interesting conjecture when there is already heated debate about the moves of Central Government to make Aadhar Card omnipresent.
Who is the target audience majorly?
Public Distribution System in India targets families having an annual income of less than 1 Lakh Rupees. Many subsidized food and non-food items are provided under this scheme. Main commodities include wheat, rice, kerosene, sugar etc. PDS system works through a network of ration shops or fair price shops across the country.
Why has this been introduced?
The rationale behind the scheme is to eradicate hunger and ensure right to a healthy diet for all the citizens of the country. PDS system of India, though noble in intention, has been severely criticised on number of grounds such as insufficient quantity, inferior quality of food, nepotism of the owners of ration shops, adulteration in food etc. There have been complaints of corruption, time and again, and various loopholes prevent fair implementation of system.
Linking PDS system to Aadhar card is being touted as a way to make system more transparent and efficient. To begin with, linking Aadhar card of only one member of the family will suffice. However, as the system solidifies itself, plans are to link Aadhar card of every beneficiary to PDS system. Government believes that all the discrepancies that PDS system suffers from, at the moment could be ameliorated to a large extent with this move.
What if you do not have an Aadhar Card?
Those beneficiaries, who do not have an Aadhar card yet and have not even applied for it, are required to apply for it soon and submit the documentary proof of the same to their nearest PDS centre in order to continue receiving their monthly supply of ration.
The scheme is being implemented across the nation in a phased manner. Each state has set up its own deadline. While voices of dissent are coming from many sectors against this policy of government; Modi government, nevertheless, believes that this is in larger interest of the country and the beneficiaries. It is yet to be seen whether the optimism of present government reaps any positive results or not.
Though the deadlines may be stringent, but the sole motive behind introducing these policies at such short notice is to bring in transparency into the system. Initially, it may be a trouble for people as out of habit, one may forget to carry a proof, but once it induces completely into the habits, it will benefit the public at large. 🙂