Millennium Post

'Inter-state portability of ration card by March'

Shimla: In a step to move towards "one nation, one ration card', Himachal Pradesh government on Monday introduced state PDS ration card portability to enable 18.75 lakh ration card holders to purchase essential commodities from any chosen fair price shop.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the facility on his 55th birthday here making a new beginning in the state.

"The new system is devised for making it convenient for the PDS consumers to walk into any PDS ration depot and get the essential commodities", said Amitabh Awasthi, Secretary (Food and supplies)

"In the state having tough geographical conditions, and long distances apart from weather uncertainties, the new initiative will have great advantages. On one hand the consumers will be benefited at same time the department will be able to check duplicacy of ration cards and pilferage of ration quotas", he said.

Chief Minister said the next phase will be beginning of the inter-state ration card and finally national portability, which is part of the scheme devised by the central government under "one nation, one ration card scheme". Some state governments like Gujarat and Maharashtra have already started.

"By March 2020, Himachal Pradesh will move to the next stage of the ration card portability with other states", he added.

Earlier in the day, Thakur also launched Fortified Wheat Flour Scheme of the State Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department. The fortified wheat flour would be provided to the consumers which would have all essential nutrients such as iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.

On his birthday, a large number of people from all walks of life gathered at Chief Minister's official residence 'Oak Over' and wished healthy and long life to the Chief Minister.

Thakur inaugurated Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) machine costing about Rs 10 crore at IGMC Shimla.

He launched Himachal MyGov portal aimed to strengthening public participation in governance process and enhance citizen partnership with the state government and vice versa.

Chief Minister also appealed youths against drug abuse and exhorted them to engage themself in productive activities like skill gradation, sports, yoga and alternative therapies.

"Role of educational institutions, including private universities, to offer such options to the youths can go a long way to deal with drug menace in the state", he told Prof R .K Chaudhary, Vice-Chancellor APG Shimla university, who called on him on his birthday at 'Oak-Over', official residence of Chief Minister.

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