The Madhya Pradesh government has successfully implemented 'Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi' (PM SVANidhi) Yojana, which benefits street vendors around the country. The scheme was introduced on June 1, 2020, at the peak of COVID-19, to ensure their economic upliftment.
Under this scheme, 'collateral-free loans' are provided to the street vendors amounting to ₹10,000 that help them resume their work that was put on hold due to the economic crisis caused by the deadly virus.
Loan Distribution and Stamp Duty
The scheme encourages the street vendors to go down the self-employment route. It provides loans at an interest rate below 12%. Madhya Pradesh was given a target of 4,05,000 vendors to distribute loans. "For implementing the Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Yojana, Madhya Pradesh was given a target of 4,05,000 beneficiaries. Around 4,11,481 vendors have been disbursed interest-free loans of ₹10,000. So the state achieved 101.60% of the target," MP Government's spokesperson told The Logical Indian.
For street vendors, getting such loans is a highly tedious task. However, the scheme simplified this procedure for them. The spokesperson explains further, "Stamp duty for processing documents to be deposited in the bank reduced from ₹2500 to ₹25. The number of documents to be distributed was also reduced from 12 to 2." Along with this, an ongoing training programme was launched to teach them the methods of digital transactions.
Vendors Benefitting From The Scheme
Several beneficiaries have benefitted from the scheme. It saved them from crippling debt and helped them survive the lockdown phase. "I run a aalu tikki center. My husband used to be a vegetable vendor, but he had to shut his business due to his bad health. That's when I started Tikki centre to run my home. But then pandemic hit us, and I had to close the business. It was an awful phase for us. But after lockdown, I came to know via other street vendors that some yojana has come where we can get a loan in a short period. I applied for it and started the business. PM SVANidhi Yojana has helped me a lot," a street vendor from Gwalior, named Archana Sharma, said.
Many street vendors stated that the collateral-free loan scheme helped them repay all their past debts and resume their businesses successfully. Another beneficiary named Chhaganlal Verma adds, "Thanks to that, I got money to restart my business. I had to take a loan to survive during the lockdown. After that, I repaid my debt first and then started the business with the remaining amount. Earlier I used to take loans from local loan sharks for the business and had to pay hefty interests, but thanks to SVANidhi Yojana, I got the loan with a subsidy."
Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana successfully implemented the scheme. However, as it is nearing its end in March 2022, more needs to be done to ensure a secure economic future for the vendors around the country.