TN government had earlier asked the Centre to chip in to feed migrant ration card holders when the ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme is implemented.

Centre will allot more rice wheat to Tamil Nadu for migrant workers Food Minister
news One nation, one ration card Monday, September 09, 2019 - 09:31

Centre will provide more rice and wheat to Tamil Nadu based on the increase in the number of ration cards following the implementation of the ‘one nation, one ration card scheme’, TN food minister R Kamaraj told The Hindu. The increase in the number of cards would be as a result of inter-state migration.

According to the food minister, the centre would be making the ration allocation in a quarterly basis. The Tamil Nadu government will act as the facilitator in making sure that the allocated grains reached the beneficiaries among inter state migrant workers, the minister stated, adding that the government will follow what the National Food Security Act stipulated.

According to data on migrant inflow, Tamil Nadu is one among the leading the inflow states in the country with Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam among the outflow states. Between 2001-2011, around 10.13 lakh migrants between the 20-29 age group, according to the Economic Survey of the Union government in 2016-17.

Another state government report from 2015 noted that in Chennai and neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, there were around 10.67 lakh mostly unskilled migrant workers from other states.

The National Food Security Act states that priority household card holders (or PHH) are entitled to rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs 3 per kilo, Rs 2 per kilo and Re 1 per kilo, respectively. However, in Tamil Nadu, the public distribution system does not discriminate between Priority Household card holders and Non-Priority Household Card Holders. The free rice scheme introduced in the state in 2011 ensures free rice to over 1.8 crore cardholders.

For inter-state cardholders, only provisions of the National Food Security Act and not the Tamil Nadu government’s PDS schemes, would apply, the minister stated.

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