‘Implement one Nation One Ration Card’ Supreme Court tells states, pulls up centre for delays in making database of Unorganised workers

by Sidharth Pandey 2 years ago Views 12988

‘Implement one Nation One Ration Card’ Supreme Cou
The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement in the suo motu case it was hearing regarding the hardships faced by migrant labourers due to the lockdown and measures to control Covid. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah pulled up the centre over delays in operationalising a database for unorganised workers in the country. The court noted that while 417 crore rupees had been disbursed for the creation of the database, it had still not been made operational despite orders by the court and assurances by the centre.

“417 crore has been released but not even a module is created. How much time will you take? Process has not even started," the court noted during oral observations. Solicitor General of India, Mr Tushar Mehta informed the court that the National Informatics Centre(NIC) was overseeing the work and it was expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

However to this senior advocate Colin Gonsalves  informed the court that this was just ‘an excuse’ by the centre since three years had passed and there was little to show for it. He added that at the moment, the centre only had to make operational the data capture part of the website so that states could upload the data that they had already collected.

The top court also pulled up states and asked that all states must ensure implementation of One-Nation- One Ration card-scheme, wherein ration card holders can use their cards to avail of subsidized food grain from ration shops in any part of the country. While counsels for Maharashtra and Punjab informed the court that the scheme had been implemented, the West Bengal informed the court that there were some seeding of data for Aadhar which had led to problems in implementing the scheme. The top court informed that no excuses should be given and all states must implement the scheme.

The court expressed its concern of how migrant workers who may not have ration cards could avail benefits of the subsidised ration. The centre informed the court that currently 80 crore people had been identified as beneficiaries and would be available till November.

The court has asked the centre to file a detailed affidavit within two weeks.

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