Two days after the launch of the cheapest smartphone Freedom 251, Income tax department raided its company Ringing Bells Pvt.Ltd. A three-member investigation team from the income-tax department on Friday grilled employees of Noida-based Ringing Bells, which launched the world’s cheapest smartphone, Freedom 251, on Wednesday,according to a report by the Hindustan Times.
“We explained to the I-T officials what we are doing and how we are doing it,” said by Ringing Bells founder Mohit Goel.
“I gave them the entire data of my company. I called them to explain my financial status. I had to explain to clear doubts created after complaints were lodged against us. They stayed for about an hour, collected data and left our office.”
“We will deliver on our promises and we do not want to explain everything again and again. Some people are trying to damage our project by spreading rumours,” Ringing Bells co-founder Ashok Chadha said.
The company has been under suspicion for the $4 price tag of its phone Freedom 251 and for failing to convince analysts with its explanation of how it was able to sell it at such a low price.
The company hasn’t partnered with any telecom operator nor is it being subsidized by the government.
With specifications which includes a quad core 1.3 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 4-inch screen, 8 GB internal storage, the market price of such a device would be around Rs. 4000 to Rs. 5000.
Noida-based Ringing Bells, which is selling the device for Rs. 251, claims that it will be able to sell at this price by making the phones in India, selling them online and using economies of scale.The company said that delivery of all handsets will be completed by June 30.
According to a PTI report, the telecom ministry is believed to have sought a clarification from Ringing Bells for marketing its Freedom251 mobile phone without a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification. It has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to check the company’s credentials, according to Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya.
The MP has approached various authorities including the telecom ministry, telecom regulator, consumer affairs ministry, corporate affairs ministry and the finance ministry with concerns he has about the phone, PTI said.