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Petition filed against ‘decision’ of Punjab govt to give smart phones

Petitioner Hari Chand urged the high court to restrain the Punjab government from giving smart phones to youths as it would lead to “wasteful expenditure of Rs 150 crore to provide 15 lakh smart phones”.

punjab Updated: Apr 05, 2018 23:42 IST
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court has posted the matter for April 25.
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court has posted the matter for April 25.(HT File)

A petition was filed on Thursday in the Punjab and Haryana high court against the “decision” of the Punjab government to distribute smart phones to youths.

Petitioner Hari Chand urged the high court to restrain the Punjab government from giving smart phones to youths as it would lead to “wasteful expenditure of Rs 150 crore to provide 15 lakh smart phones”.

However, a division bench of justices A K Mittal and A S Grewal, while posting the matter for April 25, made oral observations that the petitioner may bring the facts to the notice of the HC as and when “even one smart phone is distributed by the state government”, said Chand.

The petitioner claimed that Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had announced in the state Assembly during the recently concluded budget session that the state government would provide smart phones to youths in a phased manner.

“Thus, the state government is likely to indulge into wasteful expenditure of around Rs 150 crore for providing 15 lakh smart phones, even if it is presumed that smart phone would cost Rs 1,000 each to the government,” petitioner claimed.

The petitioner also mentioned about the “poor fiscal health” of the state.

Notably, the Congress in its poll manifesto had promised to give smart phones to youth if it came to power.

According to the petitioner, on one hand, the state government enacted a legislation recently for levying a ‘Development Tax’ at the rate of Rs 200 per month on Income Tax payees to fetch around Rs 100 crore during a year, and on the other hand it is going to indulge into “wasteful” expenditure of at least Rs 150 crore on distribution of smart phones to youth.