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AP Govt to Offer Free 60 Lakh Smartphones to Overcome Demonetization Effect

Yesterday, we covered the free smartphone campaign announced as an election manifesto. Once the announced political party comes to power, the youth aged between 18-35 years from the Indian state of Punjab will get a free 4G smartphone with unlimited 3G internet data and voice calls. Earlier, we have seen similar initiatives like free laptops, smartphones, bicycles and few others announced in their election manifestos. Now, the Government of Andhra Pradesh is said to offer smartphones for all the families below poverty line (BPL).

Unlike any election campaigns, with this initiative, the Government is said to overcome the current demonetization effect. As the older Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 are not legally accepted anywhere; the banks are also facing issues in exchanging them with the new Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 on a large scale. With many restrictions over the direct cash transaction, the users can get benefitted from the transaction through online banking or mobile wallets. With free smartphones, the Government of Andhra Pradesh is trying to increase the usage of digital transactions using online banking or mobile wallets apps like PayTM.

Once more and more people are used to digital transactions, the black money can be controlled which in return increase the taxes collected by the Government itself. A total of 60-70 lakh mobile handsets are estimated to serve the Government’s plan. We can expect these devices to come from local smartphone brands rather than the Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Gionee who also manufacture devices in India. Even Celkon, Micromax, and Karbonn are also manufacturing locally in Andhra Pradesh. As of now, there is no exact date for the launch of this new program.

But the Government is said to make these smartphones available as soon as possible as the demonetization effect can be seen everywhere in the state. There are huge queues outside every bank and ATM and with mobile transactions, the citizen can make digital payments instead of physical currency. Event the increase of online transaction is one of the objectives of the Indian Government’s demonetization plan. Stay tuned, as we will update once there is more information regarding this free smartphone program.

By Teja Chedalla on Friday 25th of Nov 2016


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