Facilities of inter-state portability for food security and selecting a fair price ration shop of one’s choice has been availed by 58% migrant workers
Every fifth family in India is still unaware about the benefits of the portability facility provided by the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme, considered to be key to the success of the public distribution system (PDS). This is according to a recent study by social impact advisory group, Dalberg.
The study was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, covering 6,700 low-income households and 1,500 PDS dealers. These states have a 40 per cent share in the PDS and were the first to adopt ONORC.
The study said ONORC was specifically designed to benefit migrants. However, marginalised women have not able to benefit much from it, especially in matters of availing food grains.
The study also noted that the facility of inter-state portability for food security and that of selecting a fair price ration shop (FPS) of one’s choice was being availed by 58 per cent of migrant workers.
The ONORC scheme is also leaving a positive impact on non-migrant workers, according to the study.
The study, conducted in collaboration with the Omidyar Network India, said technical failure of FPS and fear of stocks running out have been found to be the main reasons behind ONORC transaction failures.
Government orders to provide rations have been given even after transactions failed. Most PDS dealers are unaware of what steps should be taken on such occasions.
Here are some highlights of the study:
Swetha Totapalli of Dalberg advisors said the ONORC scheme has benefited many before the COVID-19 pandemic. A migrant labourer can now get his ration in any city. This scheme can be further improved by removing the lack of awareness about it, she said.
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