Through the ONORC scheme, migrant workers can acquire rations at the place of their work in other states
On June 11, 2021, the Supreme Court observed that all states shall implement the “One Nation, One Ration Card” (ONORC) scheme. Through the ONORC scheme, migrant workers can acquire rations at the place of their work in other states as well where their ration cards are not registered.
Due to issues with Aadhaar seeding technology, the scheme had not been implemented, said the counsel appearing for the state of Bengal. SC however, stressed that the state must implement the ONORC scheme and that no excuse will be entertained.
The bench of justices MR Shah and Ashok Bhushan was hearing a PIL on the issue of distribution of food for migrant workers.
The court observed that the currently existing schemes- the Atmanirbhar Bharat and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna – for the distribution of food under the National Food Safety Act, cover only those workers who have ration cards and are registered.
Further, the Supreme Court was displeased over the Centre’s delay in the development of software meant for the registration of workers from an unorganised sector, in order to create a national database.
SC also noted that the Gujarat government has claimed in its affidavit that a state level portal for registration of migrant workers has been launched. For now, the bench has reserved its verdict on the set of PILs pertaining to the schemes for the benefit of migrant workers.
Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, says, “The One Nation, One ration scheme is a good way to ensure the migrant workers won’t be deprived of rations in other states. “Moreover, the fact that the Supreme Court wants the states to work towards covering workers without identification is encouraging.”