New Delhi: In what could be a setback for millions of Indians, the Department of Food and Public Distribution has decided to update the eligibility criteria for people availing free or subsidised ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS) from ration shops. The new rules that will decide the eligibility will be rolled out later this month. The department has also held several rounds of meetings with officials of the state governments to finalize the criteria for beneficiaries of the PDS scheme.
At present, 80 crore Indians are benefitting from the National Food Security Act (NFSA), according to data shared by the Department of Food and Public Distribution. However, the department has found on several instances that many financially prosperous individuals are misusing the scheme aimed to ensure food for the poor and marginalised.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution will take note of the fact before making changes to the existing criteria. Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary of the Food and Public Distribution Department, said that for the last six months, meetings are being held with the states regarding the change in the standards.
The ministry is now incorporating the suggestions given by the states to prepare the new eligibility criteria and standards for beneficiaries. The new standards are expected to finalise by July. Only eligible beneficiaries will benefit from the PDS scheme after the roll out of the new standards. Also Read:
The Department of Food and Public Distribution was running the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme’ in 32 states and UTs till December 2020. So far, around 69 crore Indians are benefiting from the NFSA. Also Read: