The UPA government is also ready planning for the upcoming general elections in the year 2014 and has found a new slogan to suit it. The slogan says, “Har haath mein phone (a phone in every hand).” The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his speech in the upcoming Independence Day might announce about the scheme.
The new scheme will ensure at least one phone for each BPL (Below Poverty Line) household in the country, along with 200 minutes of local calls free. This means that it would cover six million households or more than 28 million people.
With the help of the new scheme, the government has hopes that it would prove as powerful as Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ (eliminate poverty) slogan. The cell phone scheme would help the government a direct link to the population which plays a decisive role in any election.
A final workable model has been asked to submit by the Planning Commission and the Department of Telecommunications by August 10 so that the Prime Minister can announce the scheme on August 15, 2012. The new scheme is expected to cost around Rs. 7,000 crore and might be partly funded by Universal Service Obligation funds. Half of the money required for the implementation would be raised from the bidder who gets the right to provide the service.