More than 50 lakh street vendors have availed loans worth ₹8,600 crore under a micro-credit scheme launched in 2020 to help them tide over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union government said on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, aims to provide collateral-free working capital loans up to ₹50,000. Under the programme, regular repayments are incentivised with a 7% interest subsidy, and digital transactions are rewarded with cashback up to ₹1,200 per year.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which pilots the scheme, a campaign was launched from July 1 revising the targets to be achieved under the programme. Several high-level review meetings by senior bureaucrats were held with public sector banks.
Following this, a total of 65.75 lakh loans, with a value exceeding ₹8,600 crore were disbursed to over 50 lakh street vendors, a Ministry statement said.
Over the last three months, States have successfully on-boarded more than 12 lakh new vendors to the scheme. Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Gujarat are among the top-performing States, while Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Indore, and Mumbai are the leading cities in the scheme’s implementation.
“The PM SVANidhi Scheme has exceeded our expectations by reaching over 50 lakh beneficiaries in just over three years. This achievement underscores our commitment to empowering street vendors and integrating them into formal financial systems,” Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
The PM SVANidhi aims at integrating street vendors into the formal economic system and facilitating access to formal channels of credit. Beyond facilitating micro-credits, it also empowers street vendors through digital payments.
The programme has also laid the groundwork for creating a safety net of welfare schemes for vendors’ families. A special initiative called “SVANidhi se Samriddhi”, launched on January 4, 2021, aims to connect beneficiaries’ families to eight socio-economic welfare schemes of the government, promoting holistic development.