New Delhi: The smart card issued under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) for providing health care cover to people living below poverty line will now be used for the distribution of grains at cheaper prices through public distribution system. Though the scheme turned out to be a flop in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra, Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Chhattisgarh is going to implement the scheme.

According to the sources, Chhattisgarh government has made all arrangements for providing cheap rations to the smart card beneficiaries through the PDS. As per the plans, the 64 KB health smart card providing Rs 30,000 health cover to BPL families will have the records related to the grains distributed through government-run ration stores. Ration card number and the detailed description related to the distribution of grain will be registered in the card. Interestingly, this will help in bringing transparency in the PDS.

If the sources are to be believed, the Union Ministry of Labour has given nod to the proposal of Chhattisgarh government. However, new 64 KB cards have not been prepared so far, the state government will use biometric smart card as the identity proof of the beneficiaries. 

The Centre-sponsored RSBY provides Rs 30,000 annual health cover to about 28 million families in the country. According to the sources, the scheme has been running successfully in many states but has received poor response in UP, Delhi and Maharashtra.