Puri pushes for more benefits to street vendors

New Delhi: Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Housing and Urban Affairs, interacted with Urban Development Ministers, Chief Secretaries, UD Secretaries/Principal Secretaries, DGPs, Collectors / SPs / SSPs / Municipal Commissioners / Chief Executive Officers of 125 cities in the context of the Prime Minister Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme which has been launched to provide credit for working capital to street vendors to resume their business.

While the scheme provides credit facility to vendors, there is a requirement to ensure that they are able to do business in a harassment-free environment. Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA was also present at the meeting.

On the occasion, the Minister launched a mobile app for ULB functionaries. This app aims to provide user-friendly digital interface for the functionaries of ULBs to source loan applications of street vendors.

The Minister also received feedback from states/UTs. He urged the Ministers of Urban Development and senior officials to hold meetings with key stakeholders towards successful implementation of PM SVANidhi and also to ensure the protection of livelihood of street vendors.

During the interaction with the Urban Development Ministers, it was decided that the Ministry will conduct complete socio-economic profiling of the scheme beneficiaries with an aim to facilitate their actions in other government welfare schemes e.g. PMAY (Urban), Aayushman Bharat, Ujjawala, Jan Dhan Yojana, Saubhagya, DAY-NULM etc.

During his interaction, Puri said: “The states are encouraged to dovetail other schemes for economic upliftment of vendors e.g. Mudra/DAY-NULM credit for purchase of modern pushcarts in place of traditional thelas. With regard to undue harassment of the street vendors by police/municipal officials, action should be initiated against the erring officials by fixing responsibility. Further, to help the beneficiary raise their grievances in a conducive environment, a forum chaired by District Collector and having representation of police/ULB and other relevant departments should be constituted. The forum so constituted should meet at least once in a month.”

Since the commencement of online submission of applications on PM SVANidhi portal on July 2, 2020, more than 5.68 lakh applications have been received and over 1.30 lakh have been sanctioned in different States and UTs. With the purpose of taking the microcredit facility to the door step of the vendors a mobile app for lending institutions has already been launched by the Ministry and is available on Google Play store.

The PM SVANidhi was launched by the Ministry on June 1, 2020, for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown. This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before March 24, 2020, in urban areas including those from surrounding peri-urban/ rural areas.

Under the scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year. On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy @ 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on quarterly basis. There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.

The scheme promotes digital transactions through cashback incentives up Rs 100 per month. The vendors can achieve their ambition of going up the economic ladder by availing the facility of enhancement of the credit limit on timely/ early repayment of loan.