Aadhaar Linkage to PDS
Under Public Distribution System (PDS) reforms, digitization of ration cards/beneficiaries and distribution of highly subsidised foodgrains, namely- Rice, Wheat and Coarse-grains, to targeted beneficiaries under NFSA through electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices, after biometric/Aadhaar authentication of beneficiaries are key objectives to improve the efficiency and transparency in the distribution process.
At present, nearly 90% of total 23.4 Crore ration cards under NFSA across the country have been seeded with Aadhaar number of at least one member of the household. Linking of Aadhaar with ration cards is also dependent on enrolment/generation and delivery of Aadhaar card to beneficiaries. A statement showing State/UT-wise progress of Aadhaar seeding including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is Annexed. In this connection, as per the notification of this Department dated 08/02/2017 (as amended from time to time) the timeline given to States/UTs for linking of Aadhaar with all ration cards has been extended up to 31/03/2020.
Further, this Department vide letters dated 24/10/2017 and 08/11/2018 has advised all States/UTs that genuine beneficiaries/households shall not be denied from their entitled foodgrains under NFSA only on the ground of not possessing an Aadhaar number, or due to any technical failure of ePoS device including failure of biometric/Aadhaar authentication of beneficiary owing to network/connectivity/linking issues.
The Act provides for distribution of Coarse-grains including millets for distribution to beneficiaries through PDS, however, distribution of coarse-grains to their beneficiaries depends on the willingness of respective State/UT.
To sustain the reforms brought in by the scheme on ‘End-to-End Computerization of TPDS Operations’ and to introduce new reforms, the Department in association with States/UTs is implementing another scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” w.e.f. April 2018 with a total outlay of Rs. 127 Crore. The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ system. This system enables the migratory ration card holders/beneficiaries to lift their entitled foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice in the country by using their existing/same ration card issued in their home State/UT after biometric/Aadhaar authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs. So far this facility is available in 12 States. Further, integration of remaining States/UTs depends on the readiness of States/UTs to implement the same.
This information was given in a written reply by the Minister Of State For Ministry Of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Shri Danve Raosaheb Dadarao in Lok Sabha today.