NFSA Ration Card Categories - Antyodaya (AAY), Priority (PHH), Non-Priority (NPHH), State Priority

While NFSA taking action, general public try to understand facilities getting at their end from ration shops. Existing ration card owners and new applicants curious to know ration card types, categories, benefits, etc.. New applicant should compulsorily know how the NFSA selection criteria works to categorize Priority Household, and Non-Priority Household.

NFSA Ration Card Categories - Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Priority (PHH), Non-Priority (NPHH), State Priority

What is Household?

A household is a living place that has a single person or more living together, sharing foods and amenities as a single unit. Read more here.

What Happened to Below Poverty Line (BPL) Ration Card and Above Poverty Line (APL) Ration Card?

Prior implementing NFSA, there were mainly three types of ration cards issued by State Govts. such as APL, BPL and Antyodaya (AAY) ration cards distinguished by different colours opted by concerned State Govt. According to NFSA 2013, APL group and BPL group have been re-classified into two categories - Non-Priority and Priority. Thus NFSA prioritizes household's needs considering not only their income but other socioeconomic imbalances in the society.

Ration Card Category Types as Per NFSA

The new NFSA system categorizes households mainly into two: Priority Househol (PHH) and Non-priority Household (NPHH). The households fulfilling the eligibility criteria will be considered as priority households for inclusion in the NFSA and their ration card is known as Priority Househol Ration Card. Those who are ineligible be listed in the Non-priority house holds and their ration cards are known as Non-priority Househol Ration card.

A. Priority Categories

Priority category has been divided into 4 sub-categories:

  1. General Priority
  2. AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) ration card
  3. AY (Annapurna Yojna) ration card
  4. State Priority Ration Card
  5. Social Security (SS) that comes under State priority

These priority categories and their features are explained below:

1. Priority House Hold (PHH) Ration Card

A major section of ration card in the priority sector comes under this category. To alleviate poverty, NFSA claims right to receive food-grains at subsidized prices by persons belonging to eligible households, that is Priority House Holds (PHH) under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

Benefits of Priority Household (PHH) Ration Cards

Every person belonging to priority households, shall be entitled to receive five (5) kg of food-grains per person per month at subsidized prices from the ration shops not exceeding Rupees 3 (Three) per kg of rice, Rupees 2 (Two) per kg of wheat and Rupee 1 (One) per kg for coarse grains for a period fixed by the Central Government and thereafter, at such price as may be fixed by the Central Government from time to time.

Eligibility Criteria for Priority Household (PHH) Ration Card

Eligibility calculated through inclusion guidelines and exclusion guidelines. A household passes any one of the criteria will be considered for inclusion. This included household again scrutinize with exclusion criteria. If any exclusion criteria applicable to this household will be ineligible to priority list. Both the lists - Inclusion and Exclusion criteria listed below:

NFSA Inclusion Criteria for Priority Household Ration Card (PHH Ration Card)

  1. Household without shelter.
  2. Household with destitute who is living on alms.
  3. All households of Primitive Tribal Groups.
  4. Household having a widow pension holder, if not otherwise ineligible as per the nine exclusion criteria.
  5. A person with disabilities of 40% or more.
  6. Any transgender person.

NFSA Exclusion Criteria for Priority Household Ration Card (PHH Ration Card)

Any family covered under any of the nine exclusion criteria are not eligible for being a beneficiary under NFSA 2013.

  1. Household owning motorized a four wheeler / a heavy vehicle / a trawler / motor boats (two or more).
  2. Household owning mechanized agricultural equipment such as Tractors or Harvesters.
  3. Household with any member who is a regular employee - gazetted or non-gazetted - of Central Government, State Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Government aided autonomous bodies and local bodies. This will exclude incentive and other honorarium based workers.
  4. Household with any member in the family earning more than Rs.10,000/- per month in the rural and Rs.15,000/- per month for urban areas.
  5. Pensioners with monthly income of more than Rs.10,000/- per month in rural areas and Rs.15,000/- per month in urban areas.
  6. Household with enterprises (other than micro-enterprises) registered with the Government for manufacturing and services.
  7. Household paying Income Tax or Professional Tax.
  8. Household having domestic electric connection with a load of 2 KW or more and consuming an average of 300 units of energy (KWH) per month.
  9. Household with three or more rooms with pucca walls and pucca roof.

2. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) Ration Card

It is for the poor that Antyodya Anna Yojana (AAY) has been conserved. It is estimated that 5% of people unable to get two square meals a day on a sustained basis through out the year. Their purchase is so low that they are not in a position to buy food grains round the year even at BPL rates, 5 crores of people or 1 crore families which constitutes the target group of Antyodya Anna Yojana.

The AAY scheme was introduced by India on 25th December, 2000. This scheme reflects the commitment of the Government of India to ensure security for all create a hunger free India in the next five years and to reform and improve the distribution system so as to serve the poorest of the poor in rural and urban areas.

Who are Antyodaya Families?

These are very poor people who doesn't have a stable income at all. Single men along with women and aged people above the age of 65 can attain this facility in an impeccable manner. Rickshaw pullers, Coolies, Daily Labourers will qualify this category and will be liable to get Food grains at cheap cost. A privileged type ration card is being issued to AAY families. The focus on the following groups has been emphasized in the scheme guidelines:

  1. Landless agriculture labourers
  2. Marginal farmers
  3. Rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
  4. Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons / disabled persons / persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
  5. Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
  6. All primitive tribal households.

Benefits of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) Categories

Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) household’s entitlements at 35 kg of food grain per household per month to continue as before. Wheat and rice are being issued at the scale of 15 kg and 20 kg per family per month at the rate of Rs. 2 and Rs. 3 per kg respectively.

3. Annapurna Yojna (AY) Ration Card

Annapurna Yojna (AY) Ration Card is a special type of ration card issued only to the elderly poor people above 65 years. They are entitled for 10kgs of food grain on the monthly basis from the government side.

4. State Priority Ration Cards (SPHH)

State priority cards are issued only to a member who needs treatment due to serious illness but comes under non-priority house hold ration card. State priority card holder is not eligible for any other rationing articles from ration shops. Issuance of this type ration card is the responsibility of concerned state and purely depends ruling State Govt. and its policy.

B. Non-Priority Categories (NPHH)

The house holds remaining after selecting priority list will be moved to Non-Priority category. Non Priority House Holds (NPHH) are ineligible to get subsidised food grains under NFSA system. According to NFSA, 25% of the rural population and 50% of urban population will be out from receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). They wil get ration cards but no subsidized food grains as priority ration cards (PHH) get.

How To Apply For Ration Card As Per NFSA?

The eldest female will be treated as Head of household. Where a household at any time does not have a woman or a woman of eighteen years of age or above, but has a female member below the age of eighteen years, then, the eldest male member of the household shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issue of ration card and the female member, on attaining the age of eighteen years, shall become the head of the household for such ration cards in place of such male member.

 The application should be submitted in the prescribed format by the head of household enclosing the following documents:

  1. Aadhaar Card copy of all the family members
  2. Residence proof of the applicant, if her residence is not the same as mentioned in her Aadhaar card. In case of shelter-less persons, residence proof will not be required.
  3. Income Certificate by the Revenue Department, wherever applicable.
  4. Existing ration card (if the applicant or any member of the household has ration card of any type)
  5. Any category specific certificate.
  6. An undertaking in the prescribed format that the applicant doesn’t fall under any of the exclusion categories.

The application will be received in the office of concerned TSO / DSO / CRO by online or off-line.

There are 29 Comments

Again process is going on at full swing to correct and reissue ration card to the actual card sited to true financial status of the actual state hood residence of west Bengal. Good efforts but this to take sufficient time and requesting to delete all the names who are not able to match their card with their financial status so that actual persons should not be deprived from availing of rationing facility also requesting existing 'phh' & subcategory issued card to be verified strongly. I again request you to issue of non rationing ration card (for identification of person, residential proof only for various purposes in future)immediately with honor for helping govt. of west Bengal to minimize ration expenditure. Thank you very much.

Your last comment is great. pls update every one whether gov has taken any further step on your proposal.. regards

There should be a system where Ration card is used only for identification purpose and no dealer should force any one to buy articles even if not needed.

With Ration Card Digitization, Government has really stepped up the game of reducing wastage in the system. This will reduce the unwanted people from the PDS system.

I want to know why the wholesalers sell the 3 rupee rice at the rate of 3.5 paise and why should the 50kg bag of rice exeeds more than 50kg




Stanly Chirayath's picture

Currently, in India, most of the Union states including Gujarat implemented NFSA rationing system. That means your ration card is also a part of it and hence, it is NFSA ration card. If you think that your card has to be changed from non-priority (NPHH) status to priority (PHH) status, you have to contact your rationing officer with relevant document as proof, so that they can help you subject to the eligibility and evidences.

Since 2008 my mother was the beneficiary of the AAY ration card but why suddenly after the enrolment in 2016, my mother's name did not come out and did not get the ration till then.

I want to change my adhar card name which is mentioned my mother ration card family members and that is wrong and i want to change could i change it..plz suggest..

My family member totally 3members.
All are adult.already in aay scheme
totally how many kg distribute rice?
Im in tamilnadu

PHH, AAY, and AY cards are miss-using a lot, request to the govt. to avoid to give this type of cards unless cross-checked properly.

Most of the Above Poverty Line (APL) peoples who is having only the Below Poverty Line ration cards (BPL ratoin cards) this needs to be cross checked again in karnataka as well as other states in India.

Good Day,

Just I want to know the eligibility criteria of blue colour ration card. And if any of card member buy a used car, do we need to change our ration card, kindly clarify.

Stanly Chirayath's picture

Will you please tell which State your card belongs to?. There is no standard colour for ration cards, its type and benefits. Each State adopt different colours and eligibility in Ration card system.

On the other hand, you can tell category of your card - Priority (General, AAY, AY, State Priority) or Non-Priority.

Stanly Chirayath's picture

Currently in Kerala, there are 4 types of ration cards available in which Blue coloured ration card (Non Priority Subsidy category) holders entitled to get a 2kg rice/member with price of Rs. 2/kg. Since, the subsidy eligibility to this category decided by State Govt., NFSA norms may not be considered. Hence 4 wheeler criteria does not apply in your case.


Thanks for the reply.
Actually, my question still not clear, let me explain what I mean.
If you have this much land, house with this much square feet, vehicle etc are criteria for having ration card eligibility, in this case, I doubt, if I purchase a used car, legally I have to change my ration card to non-priority ration card?

Stanly Chirayath's picture

Yes, you are right. It's all about Priority Ration card defined in NFSA and well explained in the main article. But in your first query, your card belongs to non-priority as per NFSA but granted as State Priority Ration Card.

State priority is given to an applicant who has no eligibility for holding priority ration card as per NFSA but special consideration based on State's discretion that varies State to State.

Eligibility for Holding State Priority Ration Card In Kerala

NFSA Non-Priority but any member with chronically ill will be getting State Priority ration card.

NFSA Non-priority card holder can have car at any point of time.

I hope you are clear now. If I'm wrong, welcome to correct me.

Dear Mr. Stanly,

Thanks for the update. Now it is clear. Let it be.

I got a white ration card. I was a pravasi. Now in India. No job. So how can I change my card from white card to any other.

What is nps category

In previous time I had BPL ration card but this time I got PHH card, I belong to BPL? Please explain.

Stanly Chirayath's picture

As per NFSA, there is no BPL ration Card category, instead, Priority House Hold (PHH) taken place and this new PHH Ration card replaced most of the old BPL ration cards. From your query, you are entitled to get all those benefits previously enjoyed as a BPL ration card holder, and continue receiving all benefits without any loss or issues.

എനിക്ക് അറിയേണ്ടത് ഓരോ മാസവും old BPL , new PHH കാർഡ്കാർക്ക് ലഭിക്കുന്ന സാധനങ്ങളുടെ വിവരങ്ങൾ അറിയാൻ എങ്ങനെ സാധിക്കും , ദയവായി rply

I am a non Subsidy card holder in West Bengal. Can I purchase food grains or materials from our ration dealer. If yes, then what are the quantity & rate of grains.