“The government launched the PM SVANidhi Yojana on June 1 and by July 2, or within a month, we started receiving applications on the online portal. When it comes to implementation of schemes, the country saw such a speed for the first time,” the PM said on Tuesday, addressing beneficiaries of the scheme from Agra, Varanasi and Lucknow via videoconferencing. “Nobody would have imagined a welfare scheme for the poor to be implemented on the ground so quickly.”
Launched in June to provide working capital to street vendors hit hard by the lockdown and help them resume their businesses, the scheme allows the vendors to avail collateral-free working capital loans of up to Rs 10,000 for a year.
The scheme provides interest subsidies and an enhanced borrowing limit for the next cycle of loan if repayment is made on time. It also seeks to incentivise digital transactions by vendors by promising monthly cashbacks of Rs 100.
More than 1.2 million loans have been sanctioned and about 565,000 loans disbursed across the country, with UP topping the list of states by sanctioning 370,000 loans and disbursing loans to 274,000 vendors.
“I want to congratulate the UP government for its prompt care for the street vendors. I have been told that UP has also exempted loans under the SVANidhi Yojana from stamp duty,” the PM said.
Street vendors have a huge role to play in UP’s economy, said the PM. “It is because of street carts that a large number of people are able to sustain themselves in their hometowns and also fulfil needs of consumers. It has also played a role in bringing down migration, which is why UP has topped the list in disbursal of loans to vendors,” he said.
He also commended the government for giving financial aid to 600,000 vendors during Covid-19.
Without naming anybody, the PM lashed out at the opposition saying “people would indulge in scams themselves but would dump the blame on the poor” and that such people had created an impression that loans given to poor are never repaid. He said “India’s poor never compromise with honesty and self-respect”, adding that most vendors are paying back their loans on time.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, however, slammed the government saying vendors do not need loans but a special care package to tide over their losses.
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