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A consortium led by Reliance Jio and Micromax plans to supply the smartphones for the Chhattisgarh government’s ambitious scheme aimed to bridge the digital divide.
Under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY) scheme that was launched last week, the state government would distribute smartphones to 5 million eligible beneficiaries. Besides college students, women staying in the rural areas and families living below the poverty line (BPL) in the urban areas would also get the smartphones.
Reliance Jio Micromax and Lava Airtel consortium participated in the tender floated by Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHIPS) thrice when first two attempts failed. “The consortium led by Reliance Jio and Micromax emerged as the lowest bidder and had been awarded the contract to supply smartphones for the scheme,” CHIPS officials said.
The company would provide handset for Rs 2,509.92 that was cheapest when compared to the price of same features model available in the market, they said. The state government had set a target to distribute the smartphones in the next four months.
The officials said full transparency was maintained while executing the deal. The clarification came after Opposition Congress alleged irregularities in the tendering process to favour a particular company.
CHIPS officials said the state government had urged the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to participate in the tender. “The officials made correspondence two times with the top brass of the BSNL but in vain,” they said.
Even the e-commerce companies
including Amazon and Flipkart were contacted but it refused to entertain the proposal.