West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference on Monday.(ANI Photo)
Days after Supreme Court rap, Mamata Banerjee says no problem with ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that her government doesn’t have any problem with Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme and that its implementation is under process. Her remarks came days after the Supreme Court asked the West Bengal government to implement the scheme “immediately” to help beneficiaries.
“We do not have any problem with the implementation of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme. It is under process,” Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The scheme allows eligible beneficiaries to get food grain under the National Food Security Act from fair price shops across India without securing a new ration card.
On Friday, during a hearing on an application filed by activists, the top court asked West Bengal government to implement it so that beneficiaries, especially migrant workers, can get subsidised food. While the counsel for the Bengal government flagged the issue of seeding ration cards with Aadhaar, the top court was emphatic that “no excuse will be considered” and that West Bengal must make the scheme functional.
The scheme is currently functional in 32 states and Union territories.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that apart from Bengal, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Assam have also not implemented the ‘one nation, one ration card (ONORC) scheme. The counsel for Delhi said the state government has implemented the scheme.
The vacation bench of justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah asked counsel for all state governments to submit a brief note on the implementation of the scheme and other policy measures taken to ensure supply of sufficient dry ration and provision of transportation facilities to migrant workers.
The application was filed in the pending suo motu case of 2020 on the issue of problems faced by migrant workers due to curbs clamped in country amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.