Street vendors are an important part of the urban informal economy. They play a huge role in ensuring the availability of services and goods at affordable prices to the city dwellers. PM Street Vendors Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to provide affordable working capital loans to restart the lives of street vendors who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. The duration of the scheme was initially till March 2022. It has been extended till December 2024, focusing on enhanced collateral-free affordable credit facilities, increased adoption of digital transactions, and the overall socio-economic development of street vendors and their families. It is not a medium-based scheme. Instead, it is a central government-based scheme, as it is fully funded and maintained by the central government.
According to government data, the number of beneficiaries under the PM SVANidhi microfinance scheme has crossed 30 lakhs. The scheme aims to provide collateral-free working capital loans of up to INR10,000/- of one year tenure to around 50 lakh street vendors in urban areas to help them restart their businesses.
Objectives of PM SVANidhi Scheme:
To reveal its full potential, these loans are readily available and kept simple with helpful objectives that are accessible to people and easily understandable. The potential of this loan is so high that it can not only help the needy but also make them secure and implement the use of technology in the near future.
- Facility and disbursement of working capital loans up to Rs.10,000 at a subsidized interest rate
- Encourage regular repayment of loans
- To reward digital transactions
This scheme caters to people who are generally not much aware of credit score benefits. Finally, when they take a loan, it turns out that it is not very affordable. This approach not only educates them about the system but also builds one as they use it. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone and everyone has internet access, so this scheme becomes easy to implement and metastasize. Many financial institutions have also collaborated with the project, such as microfinance institutions, NBFCs (non-banking financial institutions), and many SHGs (self-help groups). Networks of lending institutions and digital payment aggregators such as Paytm, NPCI (for BHIM), GooglePay, AmazonPay, BharatPay, PhonePe, etc., will help onboard sellers for digital transactions. If the seller chooses to pay the entire loan amount before the due date, they will get a 7% subsidy on the interest amount which will be credited to their bank account through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). Street vendors who have started vending after a survey conducted by ULB can get a letter of recommendation from ULB or the concerned Town Vending Committee (TVC) to avail PM SVANidhi Scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Scheme is the best scheme for small vendors like street vendors, stalls, artisans, and many more. It is likely to be found that the PM Swanidhi scheme provides various benefits to Indian vendors, “Thelewalas” and hawkers. As a result, skimming through the item can be beneficial for them as it contains important data for a successful application.