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SC asks states to implement ‘One Nation, One Ration’ scheme for migrants by July 31

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that all states will have to implement the ‘One Nation, One Ration’ scheme for migrant workers by July-end.

The court also directed the state government to run community kitchens to feed the migrants till the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A division bench of the top court has also lambasted the Centre for the “unpardonable delay” in the registration of migrant workers. Taking note of the delay in development of software meant to register workers of the unorganised sector to create a national database, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to complete the process by July 31 with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

The court was hearing a PIL filed by activists seeking directions to the Centre and states to ensure food security, cash transfers, transport facilities and other welfare measures for the migrant workers. The PIL was filed by activists Anjali Bharadwaj, Harsh Mander and Jagdeep Chhokar.

What the SC said

The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah said, “When unorganised workers are waiting to reap the benefit of various welfare schemes of the states and Centre, the apathy and lackadaisical attitude by the Ministry of Labour and Employment is unpardonable.”

“Unless the registration is complete, tall claims by all the states and the Union that they have implemented various welfare schemes for the migrant workers and unorganised workers remain only on paper,” it added.

One Nation, One Ration scheme

The “One Nation, One Ration” scheme allows all eligible ration card holders or beneficiaries – covered under the NFSA (National Food Security Act) – to access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.

The states must bring in a scheme for the distribution of dry ration to migrants, the Supreme Court said today. “States that have not implemented the scheme must do the same before July 31,” the apex court bench said in a stern reminder.

 

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