PM SVANidhi Scheme: Features, Objectives and Eligibility Criteria
How many times a day do we hear a howl from the streets urging us to buy a variety of commodities ranging from food and vegetables to cotton for pillows, doormats, cutlery, and cotton candies? We certainly have a lot.
Living in India has its attractions; For example, many of us have a fond childhood recollection of stopping on our way home from school or playgrounds in the hot afternoons to buy ice creams, kulfis, or those frozen lumps of flavored ice from a stand on the corner of our neighbourhood. Oh! The simple pleasures of life! This one thing will always be relatable, no matter where we live in the United States.
It was all over the place: streets, train stations, trains, bus stops, buses, marketplaces, tourist attractions, and so on.
However, what gave us such treasures of memories is largely overlooked. Who was it that was selling them? How many of them turned it into a profession, boosting the country’s informal economy? So, what are they up to now?
In just a few months, what began in 2020 turned out to be a calamity, and the entire globe was gripped by a fear of the worst and went into lockdown. We’re still in partial lockdown after more than a year. The streets are deserted, and India has come to a halt. But what about the street merchants and sellers whose livelihoods were dependent on them? How are they coping with this ‘pause’ in their lives?
The role of these people who take on the responsibility of providing our basic needs at our doorsteps in the most cost-effective way possible towards the ultimate aim of the ongoing Make in India Campaign should never be ignored or discounted.
Finally, the time has come to look at and think about the people who go undetected. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the launch of the much-awaited and much-needed PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi, or PM SVANidhi Scheme, on June 1, 2020, amidst the fearful spread of Novel Coronavirus.
The major goal of this scheme is to give credit for working capital to the country’s street vendors, allowing them to take out a one-year loan with no collateral and cheap interest rates to restart their operations and help at these difficult times.
Features of PM SVANidhi Scheme
- To begin with, it is a Central Sector Scheme, which means that the central ministries support it directly.
- The plan will be in place until March 2022.
- On or before March 24, 2020, any urban vendors, as well as those working in the surrounding rural and semi-urban areas, will be entitled to apply for the loans.
- Working capital of Rs. 10,000 will be granted at first.
- The seller will receive a 7% interest subsidy if the loan is repaid on time or early. In addition, those vendors will be given bigger loan amounts than in previous transactions.
- Vendors would be given monthly cash back incentives to boost Make in India and digital transactions. The payback amounts vary between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100.
- The loans are completely collateral-free.
Objectives of PM SVANidhi Scheme
These loans are maintained basic with profitable and beneficial purposes that reach the masses and are simply understood to unleash their full potential. These loans have so much promise that they may not only support those in need but also protect their immediate future and apply technology.
- Working capital loan: The main objective of this scheme is to provide a working capital loan of Rs 10,000 to everyone who qualifies at discounted interest rates.
- Digital Transactions are rewarded: This raises awareness, aids in maintaining safety protocols in the event of a virus outbreak, brings everyone to the same platform, and rewards vendors with cashback, which helps them financially while also encouraging the country’s deepest and most rooted citizens to take a step toward digitalization .
- Incentivize regular loan repayment: The lives of daily gamblers are difficult; Taking out a loan may help them, but repaying those loans becomes a nightmare. Incentivizing timely loan payback boosts morale while also making the procedure more convenient, beneficial, and cost-effective.
Eligibility Criteria for PM SVANidhi Scheme
Although the loan is open to all street sellers who are active on or before March 24, 2020, there is a set of criteria that determines who is eligible:
- Only street vendors who have been approved by the ULBs (Urban Local Bodies) and/or who have a Certificate of Vending or a ULB-issued Identity card are allowed to sell.
- A Provisional Certificate of Vending will be issued to vendors who have been recognised in the survey but have not yet received a Certificate or Identity card. Those sellers will receive permanent identification cards from the ULBs as soon as possible, as requested by the government.
- Those street vendors who do not have the aforementioned identification can apply by obtaining a Letter of Recommendation (LoR) from the ULB or TVC (Town Vending Committee).
- Vendors who live and work in the neighborhood peri-urban or rural areas can also apply if they have the same ULB or TVC letter of recommendation.
- Vendors that fled their region of operation due to COVID-19 (before to or during) will be eligible for the loan once they return and begin their operations.