public distribution system (PDS) Current Affairs - 2020

One Nation One Card Scheme integrates four more States/UT’s

The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan extended the One Nation One card scheme to four more states and UT’s Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. With this new move, the scheme has now been enabled in 24 states and UT’s across the country.

What is the scheme?

Under the scheme “One Nation One Ration Card” a beneficiary of a ration card regardless of their location in the country can avail ration under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) through one of their ration cards. Apart from the above mentioned four states, 20 states have already been integrated with the scheme in the past. Formerly integrated 20 States and UTs are: – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

What is NFSA?

The National Food Security Act 2013 widely known as the Right to Food Act was made into law on 12th September 2013. This act of the Indian Parliament was implemented with the aim to subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of the population’s of the country which is nearly 1.2 billion people. There is a various food security programme which runs under NFSA act like, Mid-day meal scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, and the Public Distribution Scheme. Under PDS (Public Distributed Scheme) beneficiaries are entitled to get grains at very nominal rates. Rice is at 3 Rs. Wheat at 2 Rs. Millets at 1Rs. However Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.

GoI: No New Schemes for a year

On June 5, 2020, the Government of India announced that no new schemes will be approved till March 31, 2021. Till then, the schemes under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan are to be implemented.

Highlights

The Government of India will implement the schemes that were announced under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana alone. All the other ministries have been asked to stop sending requests for new scheme.

This is being done to manage available finances efficiently. According to GoI, the announcement is being made as there is un-precendented demand on public financial resources and there is a huge need to use the available resources in a prudent way. Government of India had earlier frozen Dearness Allowance of Employee salaries till 2021 as well.

Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

The scheme was launched to improve the growth of the country. The scheme announced several measures and covered almost all sections of the society. It allocated Rs 20,000 lakh crores. The scheme covered agriculture, fisheries, MSME, street vendors, mining, migrant workers, Jal Jeevan Mission, MGNREGA, Public Distribution System, etc. The scheme also intends to provide houses and food for the migrant workers that have returned to their native places.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

The scheme was launched to ease lives of the people of India during the COVID-19 crisis. It aimed to provide rice, wheat and pulses at affordable rates and also free for a short period.