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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

100-day work earns NREGA families free cellphones

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 31, 2013
First Published: 01:13 IST(31/7/2013) | Last Updated: 04:13 IST(31/7/2013)

In an election year, the government proposes to gift a free mobile phone to one member of every rural household, which has completed 100 days of work under the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

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The ambitious programme being finalised by the rural development ministry is likely to be titled Bharat Mobile Scheme, and the mobile phone will preferably be provided to women members of the eligible families, sources said. The handset instrument might come with a three-year warranty.  

The mobile device for the MGNREGA workers will be non-transferable, since it will also be customised for transfer of benefits of different government programmes like direct cash transfers scheme.

An official said the scheme is under preparation and its details will be finalised soon. Selected telecom operators will be asked to provide mobile devices.

“Distribution would be done by the service providers in coordination with the district administration, said the official.”

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