Ration card and its types

Types of ration cards as per the NFSA guidelines 

Before the National Food Security Act (NFSA) was passed and became a law, there were three types of ration cards issued in India.

  1. Above Poverty Line (APL) Ration Card –

The APL card was issued before the NFSA was passed. It was issued to the people who lived above the Poverty line, as defined by the government. Anyone could apply for an APL ration card as no minimum amount of annual income was necessary to be mentioned. As per the availability, these households were given 15 Kg of food grains. 

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  1. Below Poverty Line (BPL) Ration Card – 

For the households whose annual income is less than 27,000 INR, they fall under the category of below poverty line. They receive food grains of 25-25 Kg. 

However, after NFSA was passed out as a law in 2013, the APL and BPL Ration Cards were reclassified into two new categories –

  1. Priority Household Ration Cards ( PHH)-

These ration cards are issued to those who meet the eligibility criteria, set up by the government, under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Each person that is a member of priority household receives 5 Kg of food supplies every month. These supplies can be availed by certified ration shops at fixed prices that should not exceed –

  • 3 rs per Kg of rice,
  • 2 rs per Kg of wheat, and
  • 1 rupee per Kg for coarse grains. 

This price can although be changed from time to time by the state government. 

People who can apply for PHH ration cards, need to pass the eligibility criteria. Only the people who fall under the categories as mentioned below will get the PHH ration card

  • A person with disabilities (more than 40%)
  • A household without any shelter.
  • Transgender person.
  • The Primitive Tribal Group’s households
  • A person who is not able to provide for oneself and lives on alms.
  • Widow pension holder’s household. 
  1. Non- Priority Household Ration Cards (NPHH) –

After selecting people who are eligible to issue a PHH ration card, others left, are moved into the NPHH list of ration cards. These people are ineligible to get subsidized food from the ration shops under NFSA. Although, they will be able to issue a ration card, but will not be able to get any subsidized food. 

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  1. Antyodaya (AYY) –

This card is still valid after the NFSA was issued. People who are considered to be the ‘poorest of the poor’ are given the AYY ration cards. It is for people whose income is less than 250 INR per capita per month. Unemployed people, old age men and women and labourers fall into this category. They are entitled to get 35 Kg of food grains. The people who fall under the mentioned criteria are eligible to issue AYY ration card-

  • The marginal farmers.
  • All those households that are run by a terminally ill or disabled person, the person above the age of 60 years, widows or an unemployed person with absolutely no societal support.
  • The agricultural labourers who are landless.
  • All the primitive tribal households.
  • The people who earn their livelihood by working days such as the blacksmiths, cobblers, rickshaw- pullers, potters, tanners, carpenters, snake charmers, rag pickers, slum dwellers and fruit vendors. 

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Coloured ration cards – 

On the basis of colors, there are three types of ration cards. As per the annual income, people are given ration cards with different colours assigned to each category.

  • The ‘yellow card’ is issued to people who live below the poverty line.
  • The ‘orange card’ is given to the families whose annual income falls under 15,000 rs. To 1 lakh rs.
  • The ‘white card’ is issued to those whose annual income is above Rs. 1 lakh.

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