Different types of ration cards are present in India. The state government categorises people and issues different ration cards according to the categories. In 2013, The National Food and Security Act (NFSA) was passed to provide a certain quantity and quality food to people at affordable prices. NFSA provides for two types of ration cards for all the states in the country.
Ration Cards Under NFSA, 2013
NFSA provides for ration cards which are issued by the respective state governments. Distribution of food in fair price shops is according to the quantity and quality mentioned in NFSA. The different types of ration cards under NFSA are –
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
This type of ration card is given to impoverished families identified by the state governments. Persons who do not have stable income are issued this card. Unemployed people, women and old aged people fall under this category. These card holders are eligible to receive 35kg of food grains per month per family. They receive foodgrains at the subsidised price of Rs.3 for rice, Rs.2 for wheat and Rs.1 for coarse grains.
- Priority Household (PHH)
The families not covered under AAY, come under the PHH. The state governments identify priority household families under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) according to their exclusive, inclusive guidelines. The PHH cardholders receive 5kg of food grains per person per month. Foodgrains are at the subsidised price of Rs.3 for rice, Rs.2 for wheat and Rs.1 for coarse grains for these cardholders.
Ration Cards Under TPDS
Before the introduction of NFSA, the state governments issued ration cards under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). After passing NFSA, states started issuing ration cards under it (which are mentioned above). The state governments which are yet to enforce the NFSA system, still follow the old ration cards issued by them under TPDS. They are –
- Below Poverty Line (BPL)
Families that have BPL cards are the ones who are living below the poverty line specified by the state government. BPL families receive 10kg to 20kg food grains per family per month at 50% of economic cost. The subsidised end retail price for specified quantities of wheat, rice, sugar and other items vary from state to state. Each state government fixes different rates per quantity.
- Above Poverty Line (APL)
Families that have this card are the ones who are living above the poverty line as specified by the state government. APL families receive 10kg to 20kg food grains per family per month at 100% of economic cost. Each state government fixes a subsidised retail rate for rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene oil for a certain quantity
- Annapoorna Yojana (AY)
AY ration cards are given to older people who are poor and above 65 years. Cardholders receive 10 kgs of foodgrains per month under this card. State governments issue these cards to the older people who come under this scheme as specified by them.
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