Andhra Pradesh, UP given additional borrowing permission of Rs 7,376 cr

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Uttar Pradesh has become the sixth state to complete the reform process in PDS to implement One Nation One Ration Card System

The Union Ministry of Finance on Friday permitted two more states – Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh – for additional borrowing of Rs 7,376 crore for successfully undertaking reforms in the Public Distribution System (PDS) and Ease of Doing Business.

Uttar Pradesh has become the sixth state to complete the reform process in PDS to implement One Nation One Ration Card System, said the Finance Ministry.

“This has made the state eligible to raise an amount of Rs 4,851 crore through Open Market Borrowings (OMBs). This amount will help the state in mobilizing additional financial resources required to fight COVID-19,” the government said.

Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the country to successfully undertake “Ease of Doing Business” reforms and has thus become eligible to raise an additional amount of Rs 2,525 crore through Open Market Borrowings. Earlier Andhra Pradesh had also completed PDS reforms to enable One Nation One Ration Card System.

One Nation One Ration Card System ensures availability of ration to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes, especially to the migrant workers and their families, at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.

It also enables better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/duplicate/ineligible card holders. Thus, One Nation One Ration Card enhances welfare and reduces leakage, said the ministry.

To ensure seamless inter-state portability of a ration card, Aadhar seeding of all ration cards as well as biometric authentication of beneficiaries through automation of all Fair Price Shops (FPSs) with installation of electronic point of sale (e-PoS) devices are essential. Department of Food and Public Distribution is the nodal Ministry to assess reform claims of the States and recommend release of additional borrowing limit of 0.25 percent of GSDP.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has confirmed that Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Karnataka and Tripura have successfully carried out aforesaid reforms in PDS and implemented One Nation One Ration Card System. Accordingly, these 6 states received the Centre’s nod for additional Rs 9,913 crore borrowing.

Ease of Doing Business is an important indicator of an investment friendly business climate in the country. Improvement in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy.

“Therefore, in order to incentivise implementation of district level and licensing reforms for ease of doing business, an additional borrowing facility of 0.25 percent of GSDP has been allowed to states on the recommendation of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT),” the ministry said.

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