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 has been found suitable for the use of officials,” read a letter written by the general administration department this month.
“The competent authority is pleased to principally allow purchase of the mobile phone (Samsung Note 8 or equivalent) with a cost of Rs92,000.”
The initiative will cost about 4 million rupees to the exchequer as the number of beneficiaries is 40 including 23 secretaries, chief secretary, commissioners and deputy commissioners.
While the initiative has appeased the beneficiaries, it has angered many others especially the elected representative who blame bureaucrats for slowing down development 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 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 credibility of the chief minister already facing criticism for purchasing during his three year tenure dozens of latest model luxury cars.
The decision to purchase mobiles has come days after chief minister accused Imran Khan’s federal government of withholding development budget for crucial projects in G-B. – The Express Tribune