Chhattisgarh government has made a provision of Rs 5.2 billion in the state budget 2018-19 for the execution of Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY).
Under the scheme, the state government has aimed to distribute free smartphones to 4.4 million beneficiaries. The eligible beneficiaries include the rural population, people living below poverty line in urban areas and regular college students.
The Department of Panchayat and Rural Development would select the beneficiaries in rural areas while the urban development department would list out the eligible people in the urban pockets. The Department of Higher Education would execute the scheme in colleges.
If there is a female member in the family, the smartphone would be issued in her name. The phone would be connected to the Aadhaar and bank accounts so that the beneficiary could not misuse the scheme and disconnect the phone service after getting free smartphones.
Besides 100 call minutes, the beneficiary would be entitled to get 1 GB data free. The package would be valid for 6 months after getting the handset.
"The centre has made no budgetary provision for the scheme and the state government will bear the expenses from its head,” Chief Minister Raman Singh said in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly today. The distribution of mobile handsets would be completed by May 2019, he added.
Under the scheme, the mobile towers had been installed in 201 panchayats across the state. The government has not made any budgetary provision for the towers as the service providers have been offered to use the government buildings for free to set up towers.