• Types of Ration Cards

    A Ration card is the official document issued by the respective state governments. The card enables eligible households to buy food grains at subsidized rates under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The document serves as a common form of identification for many individuals.

    These cards are issued after the state governments identify eligible households for purchasing food grains at subsidized rates from the Public Distribution System.

    5 Different Types of Ration Cards in India

    1. Priority household (PHH) ration card – This card is issued to those households which meet the eligibility criteria set by the state governments. Every household which has a priority ration card is entitled to 5 kilograms of food grains per member every month.
    2. Antyodaya (AAY) ration card – The Antyodaya ration card is issued to those households which fall under the ‘poorest of poor’ category. Those who have this card, are entitled to 35 kilograms of food grain every month.
    3. APL (Above Poverty line) ration card – The APL ration card was issued to households living above the poverty line.
    4. BPL (Below Poverty line) ration card – The BPL ration was for those households living before the poverty line.
    5. AAY (Antyodaya) ration card – The AAY which is still in place was issued to poorest of poor households.

    It must be noted here, APL, BPL and AAY cards were in use before the National Food Security Act was enacted in the country.

    Read More:One Nation One Ration Card

    Under NFSA, two types of ration cards are issued to eligible households. These cards are issued after the state governments identify eligible households for purchasing food grains at subsidized rates from the Public Distribution System.

    Priority Household (PHH) Ration card

    Any household which owns a priority ration card will receive five kilograms of food-grains for every person in a month at subsidized prices. The price charged from them for a kilogram of rice is Rs.3, a kilo of wheat costs Rs.2 and a kilo of coarse grains is Rs.1. The price is fixed by the central bank and is revised from time to time.

    The eligibility criteria of the priority ration card is calculated by the government through inclusion and exclusion guidelines. The guidelines are listed below:

    Inclusion criteria
    • Any transgender person
    • A person having disability of more than 40 percent
    • All households belonging to primitive tribal groups
    • Households having no shelter
    • Households having a widow pension holder
    • Household with destitute living on alms.
    Exclusion criteria
    • Any household which has a pucca roof with at least three rooms with pucca walls
    • Households who pay income tax or professional tax.
    • Household having any member who earns more than Rs.10,000 in a month (rural area) and Rs.15,000 (urban area).
    • Households having a regular employee - gazetted or non-gazetted of Central Government, State Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Government aided autonomous bodies and local bodies.
    • Households which has domestic electric connection with a load of 2 KW or more and consumes an average of 300 units of energy (KWH) every month.
    • Households which have enterprises registered with the Government for manufacturing and services.
    • Any household which owns a motorized a four-wheeler or a heavy vehicle or a trawler or two or more motorboats
    • Households which owns mechanized agricultural equipment like tractors, harvesters.

    Antyodaya (AAY) Ration card

    The households which are issued the Antyodaya ration card are entitled to 35 kilograms of food grain. Rice and wheat are issued at the scale of 20 and 15 kg respectively. The rates charged for a kilogram is Rs.3 and Rs.2 respectively.

    To avail the Antyodaya (AAY) ration card, you need to fulfil the following criteria:

    • Have no stable income
    • Single men and women above the age of 65 years
    • Rickshaw pullers, collies, daily labourers

    The government under the scheme emphasises on the groups listed below:

    • All primitive tribal households
    • Marginal farmers
    • Agricultural labourers who don’t own any land
    • Disabled persons, widows, terminally ill persons, persons aged above 60 years or those households headed by such persons and single men or women with no family/societal support
    • Persons who earn their livelihood on a daily basis by working in informal sectors.

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