- Street vendors symbolise a very momentous constituent of the urban informal economy and play a substantial role in assuring the availability of goods and services at reasonable rates at the doorstep of city dwellers.
- They are known as vendors, Hawkers, Thelewala, Rehriwala, Theliphadwala etc. in different places.
- The goods provided by them include vegetables, fruits, ready-to-eat street food, tea, Pakodas, loaves of bread, eggs, textile, apparel, footwear, artisan products, books/stationery etc.
- The services include barber shops, cobblers, pan shops, laundry services etc.
- The COVID-19 pandemic and consequential lockdowns have adversely impacted the livelihoods of street vendors.
- They usually work with a small capital base and might have consumed the same during the lockdown.
- Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide credit for working capital to street vendors to resume their business.
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs embarked on a scheme called PM Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) to empower Street Vendors by not only extending loans to them but also for their holistic development and economic uplift.
- The scheme intends to facilitate collateral-free working capital loans of up to INR10,000/- of one-year tenure, to approximately 50 lakh street vendors, to help resume their businesses in the urban areas, including surrounding peri-urban/rural areas.
- The scheme is a Central Sector Scheme i.e. fully funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs with the following objectives:
- To facilitate working capital loans up to `10,000;
- To incentivize regular repayment; and
- To reward digital transactions
- The scheme will help formalize the street vendors with the above objectives and will open up new opportunities for this sector to move up the economic ladder.
Illustration of Benefits
- Interest subsidy @ 7% yearly on standard loan repayment.
- Cashback upto INR1200/- per annum on undertaking specified digital transactions
- Eligibility for enhanced next tranche of loans
- Close to 2 million applications have been received under this scheme, of which 752191 have been sanctioned, and 218751 loans have already been disbursed.
The PM SVANidhi scheme is open to all street vendors who are marketing in urban areas before March 24, 2020.
The eligible vendors are specified as per the following criteria:
- Street vendors in the guardianship of a Certificate of Vending/Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)
- For the vendors, who have been recognised in the survey but have not been allocated a Certificate of Vending/Identity Card; a Provisional Certificate of Vending would be forged for such vendors through an IT-based Platform.
- ULBs are stimulated to issue such vendors the permanent Certificate of Vending and Identification Card instantly and thoroughly within one month
- Street Vendors left out of the ULBled identification survey or who have initiated vending after fulfilment of the survey and have been administered a Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that result by the ULB/Town Vending Committee (TVC)
- The vendors of enclosing development/peri-urban/rural areas vending within the geographical boundaries of the ULBs have been given a Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB/TVC.
Capacity Building & Financial Literacy
- An all-around capacity-building scheme will be designed to build the abilities of different stakeholders like BCs/ Agents of lending organisations like banks/ NBFCs/ MFIs, SHGs/ federations, implementing entities like ULBs/ TVCs and digital payment aggregators to assure influential delivery of the Scheme.
- Capacities of digital payment aggregators like NPCI and payment aggregators will be leveraged to impart economic literacy to road vendors for enabling onboarding on digital platforms.
- With many street vendors going out of trade during and due to the pandemic, the government saw that there was an urgent requirement to aid these micro-entrepreneurs to kick start their businesses again.
- And this is why the PM Street Vendor's Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) was undertaken by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on June 01, 2020.
- It conjoins with the government’s doctrine and the notion of an Atmanirbhar Bharat.