Chandigarh/Amritsar, Feb 17 : With an aim to further improve the Public Distribution System (PDS) at panIndia basis, the Central Government is going to implement `One Nation One Ration Card` scheme in the country soon. Stating this on Monday, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Dadarao Danve said that with the implementation of One Nation One Ration Card` scheme, any beneficiary would be allowed to get food security benefits from any PDS depot across the country as per the guidelines.
Mr Danve was in the city to attend a meeting with officials from Food Supply and Consumer Affairs department, PUNSUP and Warehouse related with wheat procurement. While interacting with media persons, the Minister informed that for effective implementation of this new scheme 12 clusters have already been established in the country and the scheme will be implemented in the coming days. "This scheme will provide a sturdy apparatus to PDS system in the country as under this new scheme the consumers need not apply for new ration card in view of migration to other areas of the country.
As the same card will be applicable all over the country, the consumer beneficiaries would be able to buy subsidized food items from any ration depot in the country as per stipulated norms," he added. Mr Danve also said that out of total 332 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) procured wheat at national level, Punjab contributes about 129 LMT. Similarly Punjab contributes about 113 LMT in the aggregated procurement of rice that touches 416 LMT mark in the country.
He said as the wheat procurement would start in the coming weeks the main purpose of his visit was to discuss the arrangements to run the wheat purchase smoothly. He also informed that to store the wheat on scientific techniques silos were being set up with capacity of 100 LMT and the union government has also fixed a target to set up the silos with 700 LMT storage capacity in the country. He revealed that to store 33.5 LMT wheat 92 sites have been selected in Punjab and preparation work was already in progress.
"Till January 31, there was 96 LMT wheat was in store and the same was being shifted to Maharashtra so that the sufficient space would be available for the wheat to be procured in the coming season," he added. Mr Danve said, "There is no crisis of food grains in the country and we have more food grains than required in the country. Union government was providing wheat at Rs two per kg and rice at Rs three per kg to the 79 crore beneficiaries in the country besides providing sufficient stocks to the states." In the meeting, Food Supply Corporation General Manager Arshdeep Singh Thind urged Mr Danve to vacate the storage sites as soon as possible keeping in view the coming wheat procurement season in Punjab.
Punjab Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Director Anindita Mitra informed the Union Minister about the PDS system in Punjab thoroughly. (UNI)