Govt to act if Ringing Bells fails to deliver

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Feb 24:The government is closely monitoring Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, which recently kicked up a storm with its plans to sell a smartphone for Rs 251, and will take action if it fails to deliver Freedom 251 devices from April as promised.

“We have received a lot of communication raising doubts over the company’s plan. So what we are doing is taking precautionary measures… We inquired into how prepared they are, whether they can provide a phone for Rs 251 or not, whether they have the BIS certificate or not…,” Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

Following a summons from the Department of Electronics and IT, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chaddha and promoter Mohit Goel met officials on Monday to explain their business model. The department will now examine these responses.

“They have said they will deliver on the promises they have made. But we have taken a stock of their preparedness so there are no discrepancies later. If from April in they fail to deliver…then as per the law, action will be taken,” the minister added.

Last week, Ringing Bells unveiled a 3G smartphone which it plans to sell for Rs 251. However, the industry raised concerns over the feasibility of a 3G smartphone at such a low price. As per reports, the company had earlier said it would benefit from economies of scale and would save on the 13.8 per cent duty by going in for components made in India.

The company, which claims to have received over six crore registrations for its Freedom 251 phone, has promised to deliver 50 lakh handsets by June 30, of which 25 lakh will be through online orders and the rest through offline sales.

However, a senior ministry official had recently told  the company will import the first 50 lakh units to meet the demand.

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