[ecis2016.org] The National Food Security Act allows qualifying households to buy food grains at subsidised rates using the ration card.
State governments in India issue ration cards to households eligible to purchase subsidised food grains through the Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Act. For many Indians, they also serve as forms of identification.
Ration card: Meaning
State governments issue ration cards as official documents. The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, allows qualifying households to buy food grains at subsidised rates using this card.
The National Food and Security Act was passed in 2013 to provide food at an affordable price to people. There are currently two types of ration cards issued to qualifying families by state governments that have implemented the NFSA.
Eligibility for ration card
Any bona fide Indian citizen can apply for a ration card. The parents’ card covers minors, i.e., children under 18 years old. A person older than 18 can apply for a separate ration card.
Benefits of ration card
- To access food supplies from a ration shop at subsidised rates.
- Government-issued ID cards are accepted in India as official identification.
- You can use it as identification proof when applying for a PAN card.
- Transferring money between bank accounts and opening a bank account.
- In order to pay the correct levels of income tax.
- To reissue a new voter id card.
- To purchase a mobile SIM card.
- To apply for a passport.
- To get a new driving licence.
- To get a new LPG connection.
- In order to withdraw life insurance.
Types of ration card
Ration Cards Under the NFSA Act of 2013
- Priority Household (PHH) Ration Card
Families not covered by the AAY scheme are issued PHH ration cards. Targeted Public Distribution Systems (TPDS) are used to identify these households. The fair price shops offer up to 5 kgs of rice per month to PHH ration cardholders. Additionally, they can purchase rice, wheat, and coarse grains for Rs. 3, Rs. 2, and Rs.1 /kg, respectively.
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) Ration Card
State governments issue ration cards to people who do not have a stable income. Senior citizens, women, and unemployed people are eligible for them. AAY card holders are entitled to 35 kg of food grains every month. In addition, AAY ration card holders can purchase rice for Rs 3/kg. Alternatively, wheat and coarse grains can be purchased for Rs. 2 and Rs. 1 per kg, respectively, from their nearest fair price shops.
Ration cards under TPDS
- Annapoorna Yojana (AY) Ration Card
AY ration cards are issued to Indians who are over 65 years of age and have little or no monthly income. Fair-price cardholders can take up to 10 kg of food grains from their nearest fair-price shop. Note that the AY card eligibility criteria can vary from state to state.
Note that some state governments issue ration cards under the National Food Security Act of 2013. Ration cards are also issued by other state governments through their local Targeted Public Distribution Systems (TPDS).
- Above Poverty Line (APL) ration cards
APL ration cards are issued to Indians who live above the poverty line defined by the state. Cardholders can purchase up to 20 kgs of food grains at 100% of the economic cost. As each state sets different prices for them, the economic cost will vary from state to state.
- Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards
Ration cards for BPLs are issued to Indians who live below the poverty line as defined by the state. Cardholders are entitled to up to 20 kgs of food grains at half the cost of the economic equivalent. Note that the economic cost is different from state to state, as each one of them sets different prices for their grains.
- The PHH Ration Card
A household with a PHH ration card will receive 5 kgs of food grains per person at a subsidised price every month. Cardholders are charged Rs. 3 for a kilogram of rice but can obtain wheat for as little as Rs. 2 and grains for Rs. 1. The Reserve Bank of India fixes these prices regularly.
List of documents to apply for ration card
- Application for state status
- Election ID, Driver’s Licence, Passport, Government Id Card
- Evidence of residency (electricity bill, telephone bill, LPG receipt, bank passbook, rental agreement)
- The family head is pictured in this photograph
- The applicant’s income per year
- Any ration cards that have been cancelled or surrendered
How to Apply for a Ration card
The ways through which you can apply for a ration card are mentioned below:
- Visit the official website of the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department of the state in which you reside. You can apply by submitting the required documents and filling out the application form. Once you have submitted the form, a representative from the department will contact you and assist you with the process. You will receive your ration card at your communication address if all the documents you submitted are correct.
- Additionally, you can fill out the application form on third-party websites and upload the necessary documents. The ration card can be obtained by visiting the website, submitting the form and uploading the required documents, and then waiting for it to arrive
- SMS messages can be sent to the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department of the state in which you live according to a specific format. A message will then instruct you on how to apply for a ration card. The official website of your state government will provide details about the process.
- On the state government website, you can also find the customer care number or toll-free number, which you can call to get information about the ration card application process.
- By submitting the application form and all the required documents, you can also apply for a ration card at the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department in the state where you reside.
Is it possible to apply for a ration card if a member of my family already has one?
Each ration card contains a family’s name, and rations are provided for each family based on the size of the family. As a family member, an individual cannot apply for a new ration card unless they move to another city with a separate address and remove their name from the existing ration card.
My ration card allows me to add family members as beneficiaries. How do I do this?
That’s right. Your family members can be added to your ration cards, such as your spouse, children, and in-laws. By submitting the required documents online or offline, you can add your family members.
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