New Delhi: The government has asked local handset makers to introduce smartphones costing less than Rs. 2000 that can help in financial transactions as it promotes less cash economy which cannot be succeeded until affordable prices are available in rural areas.
In a meeting by Niti Aayog, the government has asked handset makers including Micromax, Intex, Lava and Karbonn to make low-cost phones that can take digital transactions to the masses. Chinese players haven’t been approached for this project.
"The government has begun enabling digital transactions, which are growing exponentially now, but they realize that there aren't that many low-cost smartphones in the market," one of the three senior industry executives told ET.
The government is reportedly asking companies to come up with solutions to lower costs of smartphons which support digital transactions.
"The government’s aim is to allow financial transactions from anywhere, devices which should also have the ability of scanning for Aadhaar-based financial transactions in the future," the second industry executive said.
In today's date, 3G smartphones are available at starting prices of around Rs 2,500, while first 4G phones start at higher prices. The government has set the target for pushing cashless transactions after it demonetised old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November.