Smartphone rebate a foolish move

It will only enrich government appointed dealers, says PKR.
SEREMBAN: The RM200 rebate for the purchase of 3G smartphones is an unwise move by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, said PKR.
Najib announced the one-off special package, worth RM300 million, for youths aged 21 to 30, and earning a monthly income of RM3,000 and below.
“This is to benefit 1.5 million youths,” Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said when tabling Budget 2013 last Friday.
However, PKR’s strategic director, Rafizi Ramli, said the move will only enrich dealers as Najib also announced that the rebate would only be valid when purchased from appointed outlets.
“It’s a stupid announcement. I want to ask those of you present here, how much is the price of a smartphone? The average price is around RM1,000 to RM1,500.
“If a youngster wants to enjoy the RM200 rebate, he’ll have to fork out RM800 from his own pocket to purchase the smartphones. So, the dealer earns RM800.
“If you don’t fork out the RM800 you will not get the smart phones. Those who stand to benefit most are not the ‘rakyat’ but the appointed dealers,” Rafizi told a ceramah here yesterday.
Rafizi also criticised the condition set by the government compelling purchasers of the smart phones to subscribe to internet packages as well.
“That means you cannot be a prepaid user anymore as you need to subscribe to the internet package if you take advantage of the rebate, which will definitely cost more than the prepaid.
“This will further escalate the expenditure of those who purchase smart phones. It’s Najib’s stupid economics. He doesn’t understand? He doesn’t think?” said Rafizi.
“The RM200 is not sufficient to buy smart phones. The announcement is just to entice younger voters. Najib thinks he can win the next general election with the scheme but he is mistaken.”
He added that Najib has provided goodies for target groups but has done little for women and senior citizens in Budget 2013

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