Now mobile phone and free recharge with MNREG scheme

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by parijataka, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    After work, MNREG scheme to offer mobile phones too

    The UPA government would soon hand out internet enabled free mobile handsets with SIM cards to 2.5 crore beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee programme as a pre-poll sop. Women heads of households who have completed at least 25 days of work under the flagship scheme will get a preference under the proposal mooted by the ministry of communications.
    The proposal has been vetted by the Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body of the department of telecommunications and would be soon put up before the Cabinet. State-run BSNL has been selected to roll out the project. The mobiles will provide the last mile banking network to rural India. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has just announced plans to allow telecom firms to provide banking on the move to rural India. People will be able to withdraw money from their mobile accounts, a facility the RBI has been sitting on under previous governor D Subbarao. So the mobile sets provide the platform to run his ambitious agenda.

    Apart from the devices, the proposal seeks to offer free recharge amounting to Rs 360 each year for two years. This will include talk-time of 30 minutes, 30 SMS and 30 MB data package for internet usage. Arguing the case a government note says "urban teledensity in March 2013 was about 147 per cent compared to rural tele-density of 41 per cent. As such rural tele-density remains a challenge". The scheme is likely to cost the exchequer Rs 4,850 crore for four years, which would be funded from the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) to which the telecom service companies contribute to.

    The ministry of communications has argued that the scheme would ensure enormous social and economic empowerment to people bridging the digital divide. It argues that while most of the villages have mobile coverage, the high cost of mobile phone and services means those "are not within the affordable range of a large segment of rural households". Yet an improved telecom access helps "reduce transaction costs through faster access to information that increases income and improves the quality of life", the note argues.

    The selection of the beneficiaries would be done by the state governments and only one beneficiary per household, preferably women would be eligible for the largesse. The proposal envisages that the handsets would support 2G voice, SMS and GPRS services at pre-defined voice quality. Each district would have a customer service centre to. The handsets would carry a three-year warranty period. Of the total 2.5 crore beneficiaries, 25 lakh would be distributed handsets in the first year, 50 lakh in the second year, 75 lakh in the third year and one crore in the final year. Indicating that the roll out would be free of financial constraints, the proposal says the money would be drawn from the USOF fund which has a corpus of Rs 27,949 crore.

    Selection of beneficiaries to be done by the state governments

    * Only one beneficiary per household would be eligible

    * Beneficiaries would be women, for each eligible household unless the household does not have a woman member

    * MNREGS beneficiaries who have availed the scheme for not less than 25 days or not below the state average will be eligible
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    What are you supposed to do with that? I use 5X that much in a day.
     
  4. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is for the poorest of the poor who work on the govt's 100 day employement scheme called MNREG.
     
  5. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Why don't they work on getting them electricity before worrying about cell service? The priorities are seriously misplaced. It sounds more like a corruption scheme for the makers of the phones.
     
    Vishwarupa, parijataka and Eastman like this.
  6. angeldude13

    angeldude13 Lestat De Lioncourt Senior Member

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    here goes my tax money for the stupid vote bank politics :gangnam:

    puri roti khayenge,100 din kaam karengay,free ka phone lenge,usper 30 minute baat karengay,30 mb ka data use karengay aur congress ko jitayenge.
     
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  7. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nailed it !
     

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