Gehlot Govt to Disburse 1.33cr Free Mobile Handsets to Poor Women in Rajasthan, Free Data for 3 Years

All major mobile phone manufacturers in the country are vying to order so many mobile phones.

“This is the highest order issued by any government in the world and it would give a boom to the mobile industry in the country. It would go a long way in empowering women and women would use the communication tool for their growth,” said an official from Rajcom, the nodal agency of the Rajasthan government that manages the project.

Rajcom has convened a pre-offer meeting on May 23 which all major mobile phone makers would attend. The winning bidder must supply the devices within one year of winning the bid.

The bidding process will take place in several phases and the technical bidding will open on July 1; after that, eligible companies would be shortlisted.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, made the budget announcement to provide smartphones to women in BPL families.

The phones would be given to female heads of households whose names are registered with the state government’s Janadhar scheme. Janadhar cardholders would receive smartphones. After duly reviewing the credentials of recipients, smartphone SIM cards would be issued with a free data facility for three years.

Disbursement of mobile phones would be at district and block level. All recipients will be required to obtain KYEC for which the state government IT department will arrange special camps.

The successful bidder will be paid for the cost of the handsets over two years. Only 30% of the cost price will be paid at the time of delivery. The state government would only pay 35% of the cost of the smartphone after one year and it would pay the remaining amount after two years.

Casey J. Nelson