NEWS | Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Minister for Industry, Investments and IT Austin Gatt and Social Policy Minister for Family and Social Solidarity Dolores Cristina recently announced an initiative whereby families in financial difficulties and disabled persons registered with the National Commission for Persons with a Disability (KNPD) and associations that work within the community will be sold refurbished computers at heavily reduced prices.
The “SmartStart” scheme, as this initiative has been dubbed, will ensure that nobody is left behind. “We want everybody to reap the fruits of the progress that we are achieving for our country and we will not forget anybody,” Gatt said at a press conference last Saturday.
He explained that this opportunity will be give thanks to the new system that the Government will be adopting in procuring the computers the Civil Service needs.
As from now, the Government will not purchase computers and let them get obsolete, but will instead be renting out its computers from suppliers which will be obliged to keep always supplying the latest versions.
This will create an opportunity for around 10,000 computers with a Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 processors which are still good for home use to be renovated and handed out those persons and organisations which would otherwise not afford to purchase a computer.
Through this scheme, Pentium 3 computers will be sold for a price of €130 each and a Pentium 4 will be sold for a price of €180 each. The package will include a PC tower and a monitor (or a laptop) inclusive of operating system and licensed software. The licensed software will include Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Encarta.
Gatt explained that eligible to benefit from this offer are only beneficiaries of social or unemployment benefits, persons with special needs who are registered with the KNPD, as well as NGOs.
Registration for this scheme will open today from all Maltapost branches and will close at the end of March.
Each application will be evaluated by the Ministry for Family and Social Solidarity and will be prioritised according to the severity of the applicant’s needs if there are more applications than PCs.
Only one PC per family will be allocated, while NGOs cannot benefit from more than 2 PCs.
Those in receipt of social and unemployment benefits will have the payment deducted in €5 monthly instalments from their benefits.
13 February 2008
ISSUE NO. 522