India Government is planning on a Rs 7,000 crore scheme to provide one mobile to every family living below the poverty line. If the reports from Time of India to be believed India Govt will launch the ‘Har Hath Mein Phone‘ scheme this August 15th, offering free mobile phones to around six million BPL families and in addition they will also get free local talk-time worth Rs 200 with each mobile connection.
The reports states that the scheme may be funded from the Indian telecom department’s universal service obligation (USO) funds. Government will also invite private parties to take part in the scheme. According Times of India source, around 50% of the total cost is likely to come from the bidder who gets the right to provide the telecom service and the remaining amount to come from the telecom department’s USO fund. Universal Service Obligation funds aims to provide access to telecom services to every people in rural and remote areas at a most affordable prices.
Its excepted that the scheme will involve a monthly expenditure of Rs 100 per mobile connection, for which Govt is trying to get the service charges subsidized considerably through competitive bidding by the service provider. The main resources for its implementation are raised through a service levy fixed at five percent of the adjusted gross revenue of all telecom service providers except the pure value added service providers like internet, voice mail, email etc.
The new scheme has direct involvement directly from PMO along with the Planning Commission and telecom ministry. If everything goes as planned, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch the ‘Har Hath Mein Phone’ scheme during the 65th India Independence Day.
What do you think about this new free mobile scheme from India Govt, does the poor people need mobile phone instead of one time food. Is this scheme as a part of 2014 general elections. Do comment your views.