Centre asks states to issue ration cards to needy through special drive
Kohima, June 3 (EMN): The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distributions has issued an advisory to the states and union territories (UTs) to launch a special drive to issue ration cards and provide food grains to the weakest and vulnerable sections of the society.
In a letter addressed to the principal secretary and secretary of Food and Civil Supplies department of all States/UTs, the Ministry instructed to ensure coverage of all eligible identified persons from the most vulnerable and economically weaker sections of population under National Food Security Act (NFSA) in view of the current pandemic scenario of Covid-19.
“The constant endeavour under the NFSA should be to take special care for identification and providing ration cards to eligible households in urban as well as rural areas, subject to the overall ceiling of each State/UT,” the department stated.
It maintained that the targeted public distribution system (PDS) is operated under the joint responsibilities of the Central and the state/UT governments by way of identification of eligible persons/ households, issuance of ration cards, allocation of food grains and regular review if the eligible list of beneficiaries/ households under NFSA lies with the concerned state/ UT governments.
Further it pointed out that if the vulnerable and weakest sections of the society ie, street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, migrant labours etc., who are in dire need of food grains, are unable to procure ration cards due to lack of have address proof, states/UTs have been requested to utilise the available coverage under their overall NFSA limits by launching a special drive to reach out to the most vulnerable and economically weakest sections of the population in urban and rural areas.
Meanwhile it had also asked all the States/UTs to furnish a fortnightly status report to the department of Food and Public Distribution.