IT ministry launched ‘Smartphone for All’ initiative
Federal Minister of IT and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque launched the “Smartphone for All” initiative in Islamabad today, to facilitate affordable smartphone ownership for low- and middle-income consumers.
The initiative was launched in collaboration with the GSMA and KistPay, Pakistan’s fastest-growing installment payment service.
In addition, Amin Ul Haq, GSMA Head of Asia Pacific Julian Gorman spoke at the event. Head of Policy Janet White, Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Major General (R) Aamir Azeem Bajwa, Asif Jafri of KistPay, and CEOs of Ufone, Jazz, Telenor, and Special Communication Organization (SCO) were also in attendance.
Asif Aziz, CCO Jazz, suggested that the government discontinue import and local production of 2G phones, prioritize local assembly of 4G-enabled smartphones, develop and implement a regulatory cover that allows telecom companies to offer smartphones on installments, and reduce withholding tax on essential telecom services. This will help to increase digital adoption and open up enormous socioeconomic opportunities for the masses.
IT ministry: Buy a phone y paying 20 to 30 % of the total cost
Federal Minister Amin Ul Haq stated at the ceremony that under the scheme, anyone can buy a mobile phone by paying 20 to 30 percent of the total cost of the device. He stated that no guarantees or lengthy paperwork were required to purchase the phone; the sale could be completed with only the ID card.
He also stated that phones ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 100,000 will be distributed in three to twelve-month installments at first. The devices will be equipped with modern software, will be free of charge, and will not be used anywhere else in the world.
According to Amin Ul Haq, the scheme’s goal is to make phones more accessible to the general public while also introducing small businesses to e-commerce as a way to capitalize on the industry’s potential.
The scheme, according to the minister, was launched to ensure the availability of smartphones with enhanced connectivity. Over 70 projects worth Rs. 65 billion are currently underway to provide connectivity to every corner of the country.