The number of persons holding ration cards under the Public Distribution System in Tamil Nadu is more than 2.05 crores. Now people have been using smartcards in place of ration cards following the modernization of the card system.
People draw many essential commodities like rice, sugar, pulses, wheat etc. The system of rationing is fine though it has some short comings.
But Tamil Nadu will be at a disadvantage if the one nation, one card policy of the central government is accepted and when it is implemented.
Already people going to fair price shops are made to run from pillar to post for drawing essential commodities when they are not stocked in sufficient quantity. The situation will turn from bad to worse when the new system is enforced.
Now fake ration cards have been considerably weeded out but not abolished completely. Many of the card holders are at the mercy of middle men. These brokers make fast buck by buying goods on whole sale basis.
Card holders are not satisfied with the quality of rice that is supplied through ration shops. The rice is largely consumed as fodder for cattle. It is used for making batter for the preparation of idlis in hotels. Cooking of meals with ration rice has become rare.
When Kamarajar was the chief minister he ate food cooked using ration rice but that is history. In today’s politics this is not possible.
But things are satisfactory to some extent. Short comings and defects in the present public distribution system should be weeded out and it is not good to spoil the system by making it more tortuous.
The decision on one nation one card may be advantageous to some states. But it will be disadvantageous to progressive states like Tamil Nadu.
Therefore, do not play with the present system of rationing and spoil it.