State Government has started the campaign of distributing free smart phones to nearly 50 lakh people under Sanchar Kranti Yojana, scheme aimed for expansion of communication network to remote areas of Chhattisgarh and to connect people with public welfare schemes of Government.
This scheme is being implemented by State Government’s Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS).
CHiPS Officials informed today that for implementation of this scheme, an open and transparent tender procedure was adopted.
For this, tenders were invited through advertisements published in maximum number of newspapers of state and national -level. First tender was invited on December 8, 2017, second on February 14, 2018, and third on March 18, 2018.
No response was received in the duration of the first tender, in the second only one response was received, whereas in the third tender duration, tenders from Messors Reliance Jio (with Micromax Consortium) and Messors Lava (with Airtel Consortium).
These tenders were opened by a high-level committee of administrative officials in front of representatives of both the parties, after which tender rate of Reliance Jio was found to be the lowest.
Officials informed that efforts were made to invite BSNL for the tender process, for which state government’s Electronics and Information Technology Department had sent two letters to Telecommunication Department. Principal Secretary of Electronics and Information Technology had sent letter to Head of Telecommunication Department, Government of India and to Chairman cum Managing Director of BSNL on December 16, 2017.
Joint Secretary of Electronics and Information Department had sent a letter to Chairman of Telecommunication Department, Government of India and CMD BSNL on March 19, 2018 to invite them for third tender.
CHiPS Officials gave comparative details of the mobile phones of Sanchar Kranti Yojana and phones available on Amazon.com.
They informed that the micromax 2+ model smart phones are being distributed under Sanchar Kranti Yojana, battery efficiency of which has been enhanced from 1600Mh to 1700Mh and the price at which government has procured it is Rs 2509.92, whereas the phone available on amazon has only 1600Mh battery and it costs around Rs 3200.
In this way, State Government has saved Rs 311 crore on procurement of nearly 45 lakh mobile phones. MRP of this phone is Rs 4499, based on which government has saved Rs 895 crore.
Tender of the scheme had provision for participation of e-commerce companies such as amazon, flipkart etc, but none of these e-commerce companies participated in the tender process.>