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 –

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

  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-

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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.

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