G-B bureaucrats to receive new Android devices

Initiative will cost around Rs4 million to the exchequer


Shabbir Mir December 20, 2018
The initiative will cost about 4 million rupees to the exchequer. PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government has decided to purchase new android mobile phones for at least 40 senior bureaucrats ‘to speed up service delivery’ in the region.

“After a market survey, Samsung Note 8 device has been found suitable for use by officials,” read a letter written by the general administration department this month.

“The competent authority is pleased to principally allow the purchase of the mobile phones (Samsung Note 8 or equivalent) with a cost of Rs92,000.”

The initiative will cost about RS4 million to the exchequer as the number of beneficiaries comes up to 40, including 23 secretaries, chief secretary, commissioners and deputy commissioners.

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While the initiative has appeased the beneficiaries, it has angered many others, especially the elected representatives who blame the bureaucrats for slowing down the development process in the region.

“Apparently this new mobile scheme is to enhance performance of the officials, but mark my words it will backfire,” a minister in the G-B government told The Express Tribune, requesting anonymity. “Now they will be busy with their new devices as service delivery has never been a priority to them.”

According to insiders, the chief minister hasn’t been kept in the loop about the initiative which may further dent the credibility of the provincial chief executive who is already facing criticism for purchasing dozens of latest model luxury cars during his three year tenure.

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The decision to purchase the cellphones comes days after the chief minister accused the Imran Khan-led federal government of withholding the development budget for crucial projects in G-B.

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