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Around 18000 loan applications approved under PM SVANidhi scheme in J&K

Ray of Hope for Street Vendors after pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic not only affected big corporate houses but also affected street vendors. The daily wagers were left out of work for the longest time since March 2020 and faced blow after blow with the extension in lockdowns. The pandemic forced them to dig into their savings as situation worsened further. With the fast depleting savings, things only got worse for them. So, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), for providing affordable loans to street vendors. 

The scheme was launched as a part of the Economic Stimulus-II under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to benefit hawkers, vendors, thelewale and people involved in goods and services related to textiles, apparel, artisan products, barbers shops, laundry services etc. in different areas.

The scheme was started to provide loans of working capital of  up to Rs. 10,000 without collateral.The loans were decided to be provided to those vending from or before 24th March, 2020 with no penalty or early repayment of loan. The scheme is valid until March 2022. The scheme provides for the rise of the credit limit on early/timely repayment of loans. This scheme also encourages digital transactions by street vendors through monthly cash back. 

Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) play a major role in the implementation of this scheme in order to ensure the benefits reach the target beneficiary in an efficient manner. As per the data received by Jammu Links News, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir union territory, around 17,901 loan applications were approved by 12th February, 2021 whereas the targets conveyed by Administration Department were around 24000.

Urban Local Bodies Kashmir and Urban Local Bodies Jammu received approved 4351 and 2690 loan applications respectively. This scheme would immensely help kick-starting activity for street vendors in not only new formed J&K UT but also different parts of the country.

As street vendors form a part of the informal economy so they often end up borrowing money from the private lenders which ultimately charge them exorbitant rates of interest. Now, with this new scheme, street vendors can avail loans on low rates of interest. It will also create a digital record of these vendors and provide them a certain safety net to save and expand their businesses in difficult times  and also to get rid of poverty.

All vendors who have been vending from or before March 24, 2020 can apply for the loan with a certificate of vending. According to the Street Vendors Act of 2014, the certificate of vending is issued by Town Vending Committees. 

If  certificate is not available, a Letter of Recommendation can be obtained from municipalities by the vendors who wish to avail the loan.

This scheme has received a great response in the newly formed union territory but the implementation of the scheme would paint a much clearer picture of its success.

 

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Author

Hardeep Bali