Besides the benefits of the Aadhaar based Direct Cash Transfer scheme, the beneficiaries are also going to get an Aadhaar enabled smartphone with 100 hours of free talk time, 500 free SMS, free internet and a low rental price. The smartphone will be inbuilt with mobile banking facilities based on Aadhaar number. The phones will cost the government an additional of Rs. 7k crore.
The phone will serve as the direct means of communication between the government and the beneficiary and will also facilitate them with the information about the money provided by the government. The beneficiary will get an SMS on the phone whenever the money will be credit to their account. The Direct Cash Transfer is expected to be launched on 1st January 2013 and the government might declare the smartphone plan in the next budget. The addition of the smartphone is seen as the government’s policy of attracting the people’s attention for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
But to get a smartphone, the beneficiary must have his/her Aadhaar number and a bank account. The government will prefer to handover the mobile phone into the hands of the senior-most female member of a poor family. 50% of the sum is expected to arrive from the telecom department’s Universal Service Obligation funds and the rest from the service provider that will win the bid.