5 Types of Ration Cards in India You Need to Know About

byDilip PrasadLast Updated: March 7, 2024
Types of Ration Cards in India

Ration cards play quite an important role in ensuring food security and access to essential commodities for households in India. These cards are divided into different categories based on the economic status of the households, each with its own entitlements and eligibility criteria. 

In this blog, we will explore the various types of ration cards issued in India, such as Above Poverty Line (APL), Below Poverty Line (BPL), Antyodaya (AAY), and Priority Household (PHH) cards in detail.

Why is it Important to Have a Ration Card?

Having a ration card in India is important for several reasons:

  • Access to affordable food: Ration cards allow households to purchase essential food grains at subsidized rates, ensuring access to affordable food.
  • Ensuring food security: Ration cards help address hunger and malnutrition by providing access to essential food items for vulnerable sections of society.
  • Proof of identity and residence: Ration cards serve as official documents to establish identity and residence, often required for government schemes and services.
  • Targeted resource distribution: Different types of ration cards ensure resources go to those who need them the most, based on income and socioeconomic status.
  • Inclusion in government programs: Ration cards are a basis for eligibility in various government welfare schemes, ensuring individuals can avail benefits and subsidies.
  • Access to social welfare programs: Ration cards can provide access to healthcare, education, and housing schemes, improving the overall quality of life for individuals and households.

5 Types of Ration Cards Issued in India

Under the National Food Security Act, eligible households are issued two types of ration cards. These cards allow households to purchase food grains at subsidized rates through the Public Distribution System.

  1. Priority Household (PHH) Ration Card

Priority Household (PHH) Ration card entitles the household to receive five kilograms of food grains per person per month at subsidized prices. The current prices set by the central government are Rs.3 for 1 kg of rice, Rs.2 for 1 kg of wheat, and Rs.1 for 1 kg of coarse grains. 

*These prices may be subject to revision.

  1. Antyodaya (AAY) Ration Card

Antyodaya (AAY) Ration card entitles the household to receive 35 kilograms of food grains, with 20 kilograms of rice and 15 kilograms of wheat. The prices charged are Rs.3 per kilogram for rice and Rs.2 per kilogram for wheat.

  1. APL Ration Card

Families possessing the card, qualify for a government initiative aimed at assisting those living above the poverty threshold set by the state government. Under this program, eligible APL families receive a monthly allocation of 10kg to 20kg of food grains per family.

  1. BPL Ration Card

Families holding BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards are those identified by the state government as living below the established poverty line. BPL families are entitled to receive a monthly allocation of 10kg to 20kg of food grains per family. 

  1. AY (Annapurna Yojna)

Within this program, a monthly distribution of 10 kilograms of food grains is provided at no charge to individuals aged 65 years and above who are destitute and lack adequate means of support.

Comparison of Different Ration Cards India

Note: Before the National Food Security Act, APL, BPL, and AAY ration cards were commonly used.

Also Read: One Nation One Ration Card

Ration cards are crucial for households in India because they help ensure access to food and provide financial assistance. Different types of ration cards, such as APL, BPL, AAY, and PHH, are available to meet the diverse economic needs of families. These cards enable households to buy subsidized food grains through the Public Distribution System, which helps combat hunger and malnutrition. Ration cards also serve as official identification documents, allowing families to access government welfare programs and services. By targeting resources to those who need them most, ration cards promote fairness and equality. Overall, having various types of ration cards in India is an important step towards achieving food security and improving the financial well-being of vulnerable households.

Disclaimer: This blog is written to make it easy for readers to understand complicated processes. Some information and screenshots may be outdated as government processes can change anytime without notification. However, we try our best to keep our blogs updated and relevant.


What is BPL full form?

BPL full form is Below Poverty Line.

What is APL full form?

APL full form is Above Poverty Line.

How many types of ration cards are available in India?

There are a total of five types of ration cards available in India. However, under the National Food Securities Act, there are mainly 2 types of ration cards- Priority Household (PHH) Ration Card and Antyodaya (AAY) Ration Card.

What is the fee for renewing a ration card?

The fee for renewing a ration card is Rs.50.

Can I use the ration card to apply for a new Voter ID?

Yes, the ration card can be used as a valid document for applying for a new Voter ID.

Can additional family members be added to the ration card?

Yes, family members such as daughter-in-law, children, or spouse can be added to the existing ration card.

Can I use the ration card as identity proof when applying for a PAN Card?

Yes, the ration card can be used as valid identity proof when applying for a PAN Card.

Can I apply for a ration card online?

The online application facility for a ration card may vary depending on the state you reside in.

You May Also Like