Aadhar Number Current Affairs - 2020

Parliamentary Standing Committee: No Sufficient Checks on genuineness of Fertilizer Subsidy

On March 20, 2020, the Parliamentary Standing Committee that was set up under the leadership of the Lok Sabha Member Kanimozhi Karunanidhi submitted its report. The Committee was set up to check whether genuine farmers are getting fertilizer subsidy.

Highlights

The Report says that until December 2019, 1182.04 lakh metric tonnes of fertilizers have been sold under Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme. Currently, the identity of the buyer or farmer is authenticated through Aadhar-based identification, Kisan Credit Card, biometric or voter ID.

According to the committee, there are chances of misuse of the methodology by retailers. The retailers might collect Aadhaar cards or demand thumb impression for an amount. They are then selling the fertilizers in black market showing false sale.

What is the issue?

Currently, the subsidies are paid to the fertilizer companies based on the receipts of their sales made by the retailers to the beneficiaries. This has created a black market and is hurting farmers badly.

Also, fertilizers subsidies consume 0.5% of GDP which is the second highest after food.

Solution

The GoI in order to curb black marketing of fertilizer introduced Point of Sale machines selling of fertilizers. These machines were directly connected to the central server that captures details of every buyer. Hence, the data collected will help identify the impersonator.

Types of Fertilizers

The three major types of fertilizers used are Urea, Muriate of Potash and Diammonium Phosphate. O all these fertilizers, urea accounts to 86%. Currently, GoI is taking several steps to control the use of urea and replace it with NPK fertilizers.

One Nation-one Ration Card Scheme implemented on pilot basis

In a major boost to national food security Government of India launched One Nation-One Ration Card scheme on pilot basis in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and Gujarat. The pilot project is effective from 1 August 2019. One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme seeks to allow portability of food security benefits.

One Nation-One Ration Card scheme

Families who have food security cards can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in these states but their ration cards should be linked with Aadhar Number to avail this service.

Implementation in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh: White Ration Card holders in Telangana have been getting portability facility which enables them to buy their subsidized rice and other food grains from any Fair Price Shop in state. Now under One Nation One Ration Card scheme which has come into force in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh same facility can be utilized anywhere in two states now through Point of State (PoS) machines.

Early Trial Run: In last week of July Telangana Civil Supplies Corporation conducted a trial run of project last week with consumers from Andhra Pradesh drawing their commodities from fair price shop in Hyderabad (Capital of Telangana). As per officials, 2.82 crore consumers had benefited with ration portability introduced in Telangana in 2018.

Way Ahead: More than 56 lakh beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Telangana will be benefited from facility. Same will be case with consumers in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat which are identified for implementation of pilot project.

Centre is intended to extend programme to all states by August 2020 so that portability of food security card implemented.