Govt Plans To Gift a Mobile Phone To Each BPL Family


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In what could turn out to be its calling card for the 2014 general elections, the government is finalizing a Rs 7,000 crore scheme to give one mobile phone to every family living below the poverty line.

Sources in the PMO said the scheme—Har Hath Mein Phone—expected to be announced by PM Manmohan Singh on August 15, will not only aim to give away mobiles to around six million BPL households, but also provide 200 minutes of free local talk time.

Top government managers involved in formulating the scheme want to sell it as a major empowerment initiative of the UPA 2. While the move will ensure contact with the beneficiaries of welfare programmes worth thousands of crores, there is also a view the scheme will provide an opportunity for the UPA to open a direct line of communication with a sizable population that plays an active role in polls.

The scheme may be funded from the telecom department's universal service obligation (USO) funds. According to a source, 50% of the cost is likely to come from the bidder who gets the right to provide the service and the remaining from the USO fund. The fund is meant to be used to meet USO aims by providing access to phone services to people in rural and remote areas at affordable prices. The resources for its implementation are raised through a service levy fixed at 5% of the adjusted gross revenue of all telecom service providers except the pure value added service providers like internet, voice mail, email etc.

According to estimates, the scheme will involve a monthly expenditure of Rs 100 per cellphone. The government is also exploring the possibility of getting service charges subsidized through competitive bidding.

The PMO is directly involved with the Planning Commission and telecom ministry in giving a final shape to the scheme. The government has already launched a national infrastructure initiative under the PM's advisor Sam Pitroda that aims to link 2,50,000 panchayats across the country within 16 months through internet so that basic communication facilities can be provided to the rural masses.
 
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According to this very government; BPL is categorised as earning below Rs.17/day. I am not disputing the fact that mobiles would have its benefits (limited but benefits none the less), but couldn't the same be invested/spent for some greater good.
In short; Rs.100 per month X six million BPL households is a great deal of money (not considering OTC for the mobiles), which can be better utilized than spending on mobile phones.
Its not that the target segment here don't have access to phones.. the PCO revolution made certain of that.
 
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This is nothing but a strategy to woo voters [lol]
Election aa raha hai my friends, Congress/UPA want to turn the attention of commoners from the corruption charges and other issues.
Or we can say its another scam in the making !
 
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Wastage of money. When they wont be able to provide enough electricity to power those mobiles, Then what would be the use of such schemes.
Also the bpl families will take the scam to a new level with many phones being "lost/stolen" within days.
 
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Not to mention the beneficiaries would be the lower level political Cadres/workers who would get their connections with this quota with free talktime.
 
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So will that be a touch phone? Wonder what BPL category will do with 200 minutes of free local talk time, when they are not even able to fill their stomach on a daily basis.
I guess this kind of election winning drama only happens in our country.
 
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It's a birth of new ghotala after 2G, now we will see phone ghotala. I am not against of spending 7000 Crores for BPL categories people but is it really required to provide a phone? Where they will charge the battery, do will have electricity to every remote place of India? Rather they should provide enough employment and basic amenities to poor people.
 
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can't the Govt concentrate on health care of poor people rather than gifting a mobile phone which at the end of the day they might sell it for a glass of liquor.
 
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Only such a scheme can bring NOKIA back into profits [lol]
Go NOKIA go. Bribe the NETAS . This is your last chance [clap]
 
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politicians taking all for a ride once again.they will get kick backs from fone companies. if they had put the money in a bank a used the interest alone for educating the bpl family children i would have supported them. this is india anything goes.
 
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