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, and non-priority.
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 and Non-priority. 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 Ration Card. Those who are ineligible be listed in the Non-priority house holds and their ration cards are known as Non-priority ration card.
A. Priority Categories
Priority category has been divided into 4 sub-categories:
- General Priority
- AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) ration card
- AY (Annapurna Yojna) ration card
- State Priority Ration Card
- 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 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 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 Ration Card (PHH Ration Card)
- Household without shelter.
- Household with destitute who is living on alms.
- All households of Primitive Tribal Groups.
- Household having a widow pension holder, if not otherwise ineligible as per the nine exclusion criteria.
- A person with disabilities of 40% or more.
- Any transgender person.
NFSA Exclusion Criteria for Priority 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.
- Household owning motorized a four wheeler / a heavy vehicle / a trawler / motor boats (two or more).
- Household owning mechanized agricultural equipment such as Tractors or Harvesters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pensioners with monthly income of more than Rs.10,000/- per month in rural areas and Rs.15,000/- per month in urban areas.
- Household with enterprises (other than micro-enterprises) registered with the Government for manufacturing and services.
- Household paying Income Tax or Professional Tax.
- 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.
- 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:
- Landless agriculture labourers
- Marginal farmers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Aadhaar Card copy of all the family members
- 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.
- Income Certificate by the Revenue Department, wherever applicable.
- Existing ration card (if the applicant or any member of the household has ration card of any type)
- Any category specific certificate.
- 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.