Empowering Street Vendors: PM SVANidhi Scheme’s Remarkable Impact
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In a significant development, the Indian government’s Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme has proven to be a game-changer for over 50 lakh street vendors across the country. Launched in 2020 to assist street vendors during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, this micro-credit initiative has disbursed loans exceeding ₹8,600 crore. Let’s delve into the details of this transformative scheme.
A Lifeline During the Pandemic
The PM SVANidhi scheme was initially designed to provide much-needed support to street vendors affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Its primary objective was to offer collateral-free working capital loans, with amounts of up to ₹50,000, to these vendors who form an integral part of India’s informal economy.
Incentivizing Repayments and Digital Transactions
To encourage responsible financial behavior, the scheme introduced several incentives. Repayments of these loans are rewarded with a 7% interest subsidy, making it more manageable for vendors to pay back their loans. Additionally, digital transactions made by street vendors are incentivized with cashback benefits of up to ₹1,200 per year.
According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which administers the program, a recent campaign launched with revised targets has yielded remarkable results. Through high-level review meetings with public sector banks, a total of 65.75 lakh loans were disbursed to over 50 lakh street vendors, totaling ₹8,600 crore in value.
State and City Performance
Several states have made commendable strides in onboarding new vendors to the scheme. Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Gujarat stand out as top-performing states, while cities like Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Indore, and Mumbai have been instrumental in effectively implementing the program.
Integration into Formal Financial Systems
The PM SVANidhi scheme aims not only to provide micro-credits but also to integrate street vendors into the formal economic system. By facilitating access to formal channels of credit and encouraging digital payments, it empowers street vendors to participate more actively in the financial mainstream.
A Safety Net for Families
Beyond its financial assistance, the program has laid the foundation for a safety net of welfare schemes for the families of street vendors. The “SVANidhi se Samriddhi” initiative, launched on January 4, 2021, seeks to connect beneficiaries’ families with eight socio-economic welfare schemes of the government, promoting holistic development.
In conclusion, the PM SVANidhi scheme has emerged as a resounding success, providing essential support to street vendors during a challenging period and driving their integration into formal financial systems. This initiative not only empowers individuals but also contributes to the economic growth of the nation.
Source: The Hindu