Mobile Retailers not happy with Gehlot’s Smartphone Distribution Scheme


A sharp decline in mobile phone sales due to the Indira Gandhi Smartphone Distribution Scheme has left mobile retailers in distress. On Friday, thousands of mobile retailers from across the district rallied from Mahavir Park to the district collectorate, staging protests and submitting a memorandum to the district administration.
Bhavnar Singh, the president of the Mobile Retailers Association, revealed that the Rajasthan government launched the Indira Gandhi Smartphone Distribution Scheme on August 7, 2023. Under this scheme, smartphones and SIM cards are being distributed. In the district, there are approximately a thousand mobile retailers and around 1,500 small-scale mobile recharge shopkeepers. They collectively sell approximately 25,000 to 30,000 smartphones per month in Bhilwara, totalling nearly 3,00,000 to 3,60,000 phones per year. The impact of this scheme will affect these businesses for the next three years, potentially causing them to lose their livelihoods. This scheme may force many small-scale retailers to shut down their businesses. The effect of the phones being provided at mobile camps right now is that our shops have suffered a commercial decline of around 80%. Instead of benefiting a single company or individual, this scheme should be open to all mobile retailers, so that everyone can avoid unemployment and sustain their livelihoods. The memorandum stated that all the government schemes in Rajasthan are very effective, but the government should also consider the welfare of the business community. The Gehlot government, in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology (DoIT), issued a notification stating that beneficiaries can purchase their preferred mobile phones from authorized mobile retailers. Beneficiaries have the freedom to buy any smartphone from any mobile retailer of their choice.