What is a Ration Card and Why is it Needed?
A Ration Card is a document issued under an order or authority of the State Government, as per the Public Distribution System, for the purchase of essential commodities from fair price shops. State Governments issue distinctive Ration Cards to Above Poverty Line, Below Poverty Line and Antyodaya families and conduct periodical review and checking of Ration Cards.
A Ration Card is a very useful document for Indian citizens. It helps save money by aiding in the procurement of essential commodities at a subsidised rate. It has also become an important tool of identification now-a-days. You may need to produce a copy of your Ration Card as proof of identification when applying for other documents like Domicile Certificate, for inclusion of your name in the Electoral Rolls, etc.
Families living below the poverty line are entitled to Blue Cards, under which they can avail special subsidies. In addition to permanent Ration Cards, States also issue temporary Ration Cards, which are valid for a specified number of months, and are issued for relief purposes.
What you need to do to obtain a Ration Card
You may obtain the application form for making a new Consumer (Ration) Card from any Circle Office. You will require passport-sized photographs of the head of your family attested by a gazetted officer/MLA/MP/Municipal Councillor, the specified proof(s) of residence, and the Surrender/Deletion Certificate of the previous Ration Card, if there was any.
In case you are not able to provide any proof of residence, the Circle FSO conducts spot inquiries by recording the statements of two independent witnesses in your neighbourhood. The standard prescribed time schedule for the preparation of a Ration Card is generally 15 days. However, the procedure and time limit may vary from State to State.
There is also a provision for making amendments to valid Ration Cards.
Ration cards are basically of two types:
- White Cards (D Cards)
- Pink Cards (ABC Cards)
White cards are issued to people with an income of less than Rs. 11000 and pink cards are issued to people with an income of more than Rs. 11000.
New cards are issued by the MRO after obtaining sanction from the District Collector and conducting enquiry about the applicant. The Master Register (Key Register) contains details of the card holders that are assigned to a particular dealer. This register is maintained dealer-wise. This contains details about the cardholders such as Sl. No., Card No., cardholder's name, door no., occupation, annual income, no. of family members (no. of adults, no. of children and total).
Besides the issue of new cards, the MRO issues ration cards to families who come on transfer to the Mandal, after verifying the surrendered certificates submitted by them. He also handles cases of a change of the ration shop due to a change of address of the cardholder and corresponding changes are carried out in the registers. Cancellation of ration cards and checking of FP shops in case of complaints against them are also looked after by the MRO.