Image Source: Youtube

June 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation in a 16-minute long speech, and amongst the various issues he addressed was the implementation of One Nation, One Ration Card across the country.

Modi
Image Source: Youtube

The PM said that the beneficiaries from ONORC are the ones who go to other states in search of employment opportunities. The ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ was first rolled out by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 14 in all states and Union Territories by March 2020.

This card will enable that under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore persons are entitled to buy subsidized food grain — rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg — from their designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Sikkim jumped on this bandwagon on June 1, amidst the criticisms of many state politicians and activists.

The authentication for this scheme will be through Aadhaar verification. The goal of the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme is to provide solutions to the limitations of the earlier food security schemes that were domicile or state-based, which means that the beneficiaries could only allot via a fixed Public Distribution System (PDS).

Since 37% of the population in India constitutes migrant workers, obtaining a Ration Card could take 2-3 months, and it would be hard for them to obtain one in a new location which could lead to losses for the migrant force. This scheme will make it easier for the migrant workers to avail rations in all corners of the country. 

Also, it was announced that Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) has been extended till the end of November which brings the cost of the extension to more than Rs. 90,000 crore, adding this cost with the last three months of this scheme brings the total expenditure to around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore.

Under the PMGKY Scheme Rs. 19,000 crore was deposited in the bank accounts of more than 9 crore families, Rs. 31,000 crore was deposited in the bank accounts of 20 crore poor families.

PM Modi also expressed concern over the laxity among people regarding social distancing norms. “Considering coronavirus’ death rate, India is comparatively in a better position compared to many countries of the world. The timely imposition of lockdown and other decisions have saved lakhs of lives. But we have also seen that since Unlock 1.0, there is increasing negligence in personal and social behaviour. Earlier, we were very careful concerning wearing masks, maintaining social distancing norms, and practising hygienic habits.

However, when we need to be more careful, as the increasing negligence is worrisome. Governments, citizens, local bodies need to show similar alertness. We especially need to focus more on containment zones. Those not following the rules will need to be stopped and cautioned. You must have seen in the news that the Prime Minister of a country was fined Rs 13,000 for not wearing a mask in a public place.

In India too, the local administration should work with the same enthusiasm. This is a drive to protect the lives of 130 crore countrymen. Be it a village pradhan or the Prime Minister, no one is above the law in India.”

He also informed that around 80 crore people will be able to avail free ration for five more months –  July, August, September, October and November. He also highlighted that he chaired a high-level cabinet meeting, shortly before he addressed the nation, to assess the preparations which are being undertaken for vaccination against COVID-19 when a vaccine is available.

The Prime Minister also commended the farmers and honest taxpayers for their contribution in making welfare schemes like the PMGKY scheme successful and the Centre government being able to provide free food grains to the poor and needy and that these two sections of society have made this possible.

He requested the citizens to take special care of themselves as due to the weather we are entering the season of flu and coughs, but hat India as compared to other countries is stable in the battle against the COVID-19. 

The Centre Government, on Monday night, released the new guidelines for Unlock 2.0 which will begin from July 1 and it dictates the following:

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