FinMin permits Rs 2,731 crore add’l borrowing by Rajasthan post reforms

The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said it has permitted Rajasthan to borrow an additional Rs 2,731 crore after the state undertook reform in ‘one-nation one ration card’ system.

“Rajasthan has become the 12th State in the country to successfully undertake ‘One Nation One Ration Card system’ reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure. Thus, the State has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs 2,731 crore through Open Market Borrowings. Permission for the same was issued by the Department of Expenditure,” the ministry said in a statement.

The other states that have completed the implementation of ‘one nation one ration card’ system are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

“On completion of One Nation One Ration Card system reform, these 12 states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 33,440 crore by the Department of Expenditure,” it added.

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

The reform especially empowers the migratory population mostly labourers, daily wagers, urban poor like rag picker, street dwellers, temporary workers in organised and unorganised sectors, domestic workers etc, who frequently change their place of dwelling to be self reliant in food security. This technology driven reform enables the migrant beneficiaries to get their entitled quota of food grains from any electronic point of sale (e-PoS) enabled fair Price Shops of their choice anywhere in the country.

The reform also enables the States in better targeting of beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/ duplicate/ineligible card holders resulting in enhanced welfare and reduced leakage.

In view of the resource requirement to meet multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India in May last year enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 per cent of their GSDP.

Half of this special dispensation i.e. 1 per cent of GSDP was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the states. The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure were: implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System; ease of doing business reform; Urban Local body/ utility reforms and power sector reforms.

Till now, 17 states have carried out at least one of the four stipulated reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions. Out of these, 12 States have implemented the one nation one ration card system, 12 States have done ease of doing business reforms, 5 States have done local body reforms and 2 States have undertaken power sector reforms. Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States stands at Rs 74,773 crore, the Ministry said.

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