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PM Modi lauds beneficiaries of scheme for street vendors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted via video-conferencing with street vendors from Uttar Pradesh who had availed of loans under the PM Street Vendors Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) and said most of the beneficiaries were repaying their loans on time.

Also read: Government loan scheme for street vendors gets Bollywood boost on social media

The scheme, which provides vendors collateral-free working capital loans of ₹10,000, was announced on June 1 as a part of the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat package in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

So far, 24.76 lakh applications have been received, of which 12.37 lakh have been sanctioned and over 5 lakh loans have been disbursed, according to the PM SVANidhi portal.

While addressing the street vendors, Mr. Modi said Uttar Pradesh accounted for 6.5 lakh applications and 4.25 lakh approved loans. He said those who played politics in the name of the poor had given the impression that the poor would not repay loans. But, he added, the poor had presented an example of their honesty by repaying their PM SVANidhi loans.

Modi interacts with street vendors

Earlier, Mr. Modi interacted with vendors from Agra, Varanasi and Lucknow, and asked them about their experiences with the lockdown and the scheme.

Preeti Devi, a fruit seller from Agra, said she used to sell vegetables prior to the lockdown.

Also read: COVID-19 leaves street vendors in distress

“During the lockdown, we felt like we were drowning,” she said. She added that with the PM SVANidhi loan she was able to restart her work and set up a fruit cart. Ms Preeti said she had repaid the first instalment.

Arvind Maurya, who runs a stall selling momos and coffee in Varanasi, which is Mr. Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, told the Prime Minister that he was able to get the loan within a week of applying.

Mr. Modi asked him if momos were a popular snack in Varanasi, adding that security personnel don’t let him eat street food during his visits. The Prime Minister appreciated Mr. Maurya’s initiative of giving one free momo to customers who wear masks, maintain social distancing and pay digitally.

Mr. Modi also interacted with a food stall owner from Lucknow, Vijay Bahadur.

In his address later, Mr. Modi congratulated bank employees for their efforts in disbursing loans.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:24:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-interacts-with-street-vendors-benefitted-from-pm-svanidhi-scheme/article32951002.ece

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