Ringing Bells under I-T lens

Ringing Bells under I-T lens

Ringing Bells under I-T lens

Close on the heels of Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking a report from the Telecom Ministry on Ringing Bells’ credentials, the company has come under the scanner of excise and income tax (I-T) departments.

According to sources, the I-T department is looking into the financial structure of the Noida-based company and has obtained documents, including those from the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

“Yes, there was a visit from excise department and I-T Department officials. Since we are planning to achieve milestones under Make in India, Skill India and Startup India, they issued us some guidelines for future and extended full support and cooperation,” Ringing Bells president Ashok Chaddha said.  Meanwhile, the Noida-based company closed the booking for its “Freedom 251” phone, which is dubbed as world cheapest handset, citing heavy demand. The company said it received 3.7 crore registrations on Day 1 and 2.47 crore on Day 2.

Announcing the closure of booking, the company said: “We are humble and extremely grateful for your overwhelming response and trust. Respectfully, this is to advise that the response far exceeds the number that we had expected and therefore, we are now closing the invitation to bookings in phase 1.”

Freedom 251 has been in the news globally for several reasons. There were allegations the company had showcased a rival company, Adcom’s handset, as its own. Also, icons on the device looked similar to that of global technology giant, Apple.

Chaddha also clarified that “it wanted to show a sample or prototype of what the handsets will look like. This is not the final piece.”

“In view of the shortage of time and given that these were to serve only as prototypes to a limited list of persons, we went ahead. We would clearly mention that the final Freedom 251 manufactured/assembled in India would be to identical specs - i.e. no change,” he added.

With the mobile industry members have also complained against the company to the Telecom Ministry, the government has sought a clarification from Ringing Bells for marketing its mobile phone without a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification and has also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to check the firm’s credentials.