“We were one of the first states to implement ONORC last year. It is our people who go out mostly for work to other states,” Vinay Kumar, food secretary, Bihar, told ET. “We have ensured that every migrant worker who has applied for a ration card has been issued one. We have issued close to 30 lakh ration cards in the last one year, highest among all states in the country.” Nearly 52% of the beneficiaries availed the facility in April and May. April saw 3,249 migrants using this facility to take ration outside the state, the highest so far, while 2,438 people availed the facility in May.
“The number is gradually picking up. Most of the migrants had come during the lockdown last year and while they have gone back, their families are back home,” said Kumar. “Once the families join them after the pandemic, this number will increase.”
The new ration card is a biometric card with data seeding from Aadhaar. A person can also take the ration of his entitlement partly in another state and the remaining for his family in Bihar. The ration availed outside the state gets deducted from Bihar’s entitlement quota in the next cycle.
Because of ONORC, even within the state, 4.5 million households out of the 17.5 million under public distribution system have taken their allotment in different cities or districts from their actual place of allotment.
People from other states who are working in Bihar have also availed the facility in the state, though their number is very low. Only 381 people from other states took their ration in Bihar in nine months till May. Of these, 327 people availed this facility in April and May this year.