Punjab govt puts off distribution of free smartphones among youngsters to March-end
The Congress-led Punjab government has announced that it will distribute free smartphones to youngsters in the state, one of its key poll promises, before March 31.
The Capt Amarinder Singh government had last month announced that it will start distributing the phones from Republic Day.
“I think that is all in the pipeline. Some testing was left. That is why it cannot be launched otherwise we would have rolled them out on January 26,” state education minister Vijay Inder Singla said on Sunday.
“I hope they will be launched before March 31,” Singla told reporters in Patiala when asked about the government’s announcement of giving smartphones on Republic Day.
The minister was in Patiala to unfurl the national flag on Republic Day.
On December 2, the chief minister had tweeted, “This 26th Jan, when we celebrate the Republic Day, we will start the 1st Phase of the smartphone distribution. 1st batch of 1.6 lakh smartphones will be given to girl students of Class 11 & 12. Hoping that these phones will help them in their studies & make them more tech-savvy.”
Before coming to power, the Congress had announced in its manifesto that to “encourage and incentivise” youngsters to use digital technology in day-to-day lives, it would distribute free smartphones.
The opposition has been criticising the Congress government for not honouring its poll promises, including the distribution of free smartphones.