Ration Card Introduction
Having a ration card is not mandatory. However, if you want to enjoy the full benefits of India’s Welfare System for persons in your category, this document comes in handy. The government spends a substantial amount of its budget on improving the welfare of the people. These cards enable the ration authorities to keep records of every beneficiary and plan adequately.
Specific benefits of ration card to the holder
With the ration card, you can access goods at subsidized prices from a fair price shop. Depending on your jurisdiction, you either buy the goods at their market price and have the overcharge balance sent directly to your account, or buy the items directly from the shop at a lower price than you would normally acquire them elsewhere.
Secondly, users of the card get subsidies for kerosene and LPG. The amount of fuel allocated depends on the economic level of person and the type of fuel they consume.
Third, ration cards enable the government to determine its imports of food, fuel, medicine and other necessities. In a big country like this, such planning is crucial as lack of it can lead to grievous consequences when extreme shortages arise.
The rationing system also enhances fair market pricing and minimizes exploitation by sales people. Currently, a Delhi citizen can confirm the prevailing market prices of commodities by visiting http://nfs.delhi.gov.in//. People from other regions can confirm their prevailing prizes through information systems provided by their various agencies. This enables them to shun overpriced goods as they can get the same at recommended prices from fair price shops.
In case a Fare Price Shop sells good at the price above or weight below the one indicated by the consumer affairs department, the cardholder is supposed to report immediately to the District Supplies Officer so that investigations can be done and criminal charges filed against the suspect. This goes a long way in promoting transparency and integrity of the system.
In addition, as the ration card databases are advancing, more institutions have started to consider them as identity documents. Banks currently accept the cards as a secondary proof of identity. Once fully connected to the Aadhar system, it will no longer be necessary to carry many documents with you when seeking public or private services.
A ration card will have one of these three notations: Antyodaya, BPL, and APL.
Antyodaya stands for extreme poverty level. People holding cards with this label qualify for maximum ration allocation.
BPL means below poverty line. This card is for individuals who earn less than the average income, but are not as poor as those holding Antyodaya status.
The APL status is given to families living on above average income.
Of importance to note is that, just because the head of the family earns a certain salary, it does not automatically qualify them for any of these statuses; other considerations such as the number of dependants and the house you reside in will determine which one of these fits you. Read more to how to apply for a ration card.