New Delhi: It is raining gifts. Now, the Narendra Modi government is going to gift you a smartphone with free data. The finance and telecom ministries have been asked to prepare a report for this scheme. Sources say that under the scheme 70 lakh smartphones will be distributed in the first phase.
The announcement is likely to be made in the budget to be presented in February. This scheme will be targeted at the rural areas, and possibly urban poor.
Funds for the scheme are likely to come from the Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF). The telecom companies contribute 5% of their revenues to the USOF, which is meant to spread telecom and net connectivity in the rural areas.
Between 2002 and 2014, Rs 66,000 crore were collected in the funds, and only Rs 25,000 crore were used.
The logic is that this move will give a push to digital transactions. Howver, it is being also seen as a move to garner votes in the forthcoming assembly elections. (News24Bureau)