Andhra Pradesh Government to offer free smartphones for BPL families

 Andhra Pradesh government is planning to distribute free mobile phones to enable economically-backward people to undertake cashless transactions in the wake of the ongoing currency crisis.

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AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is con templating giving smart phones to below poverty line (BPL) families in the state. Naidu wants to achieve twin objectives with this: One is to enable the poor people to get used to cashless and digital transactions and the other to overcome the shortage of low denomination notes. Naidu directed his officials to prepare a blueprint to launch the programme immediately. The total requirement could be 60-70 lakh mobiles, a senior official said. Popular brands like Celkon, Micromax, and Karbon, have set up their plants in AP, officials hope it won’t be a problem for the government to procure mobile phones in bulk at a reasonable price.

“Everybody needs a mobile phone for digital transactions, so we want to implement this idea and distribute mobile phones,” he said. RBI officials informed the Chief Minister that another Rs 3,000 crore worth new currency notes were expected to reach the state by November 28.

RBI representative Hari Sankar, Andhra Bank deputy general manager G S V Krishna Rao and other senior officials attended the meeting.

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