The Centre has asked all states to issue ration cards under the National Food Security Act to the needy and the most vulnerable amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Food and Public Distribution issued an advisory on June 2 to all states and Union Territories to launch a special drive to reach out, identify and issue NFSA ration cards to the most vulnerable and economically weak sections of the population in rural and urban areas.
"To ensure coverage of all eligible identified persons from the most vulnerable and economically weakest sections of population under National Food Security Act assumes importance in view of current pandemic scenario of Covid-19," said Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in a statement.
The department asked states to reach out to the economically weak sections, including street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers etc for NFSA ration cards. "The operational responsibilities of identification of eligible persons/households under NFSA and issuance of ration cards to them rests with States/UTs," stated the department.
"States/UTs may be aware that during the current scenario pandemic of COVID-19, there are several reports/grievances through media, newspapers, NGOs, individuals stating that vulnerable and weakest sections of the society i.e. street dwellers, rag pickers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, migrant labours etc, who are in dire need of foodgrains, are unable to procure ration cards. It is felt that some of the poor and needy people, who also may not have address proof, may be finding it difficult to obtain a ration card," stated the advisory issued on June 2.
All states and UTs have been asked to furnish a fortnightly report to the department.
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