Nearly 27 lakh street vendors have applied for interest-free bank loans under a government scheme to restart their business after the Covid-19 lockdown, and over 14 lakh of these applications have been sanctioned, the Centre said in a statement on Wednesday.
Around 7.8 lakh loans have already been disbursed under the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM-SVANidhi), a micro-credit scheme under which street vendors, who have returned from their home states after the lockdown, are eligible for credit of Rs 10,000 as working capital, the statement said. PM-SVANidhi was launched to help kickstart the street vending economy that was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has been incentivising digital transactions and pushing states to speed up the process. There are an estimated 50-60 lakh street vendors across India.
The government plans to turn the programme into a comprehensive poverty alleviation scheme by mapping the socio-economic profile of the beneficiaries and linking them with Central welfare measures.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently praised the implementation of the scheme.
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