Delay PM SVANidhi loan disbursals to September: Hawkers body

KOLKATA, July 10: A hawkers body has suggested to
The Centre to push the loan disbursal under PM SVANidhi programme to September for the beneficiaries.
The scheme ‘PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi’, (PM SVANidhi) launched this month aims to offer microloans up to Rs 10,000 at a subsidized rate to overcome COVID-19 pandemic crisis to about 50 lakh micro vendors. The scheme offers cash backs to encourage adopting digital payments.
The portal is open for digital applications and more than 40,000 vendors have raised demand for loan and more than 300 have been sanctioned.
“If the disbursement of loans begins immediately we believe the street vendors would spend the loan money to make ends meet as 70 per cent have not been able to restart their activity and are already in deep trouble. The consequence of this is that they would not be able to repay the loan,” National Hawkers’ Federation general secretary Saktiman Ghosh said.
“The benefits of the loan will go in vain. In our opinion, the process should continue, but the disbursement of the loans should start in September, 2020,” Ghosh said.
He said the Federation has drawn the attention of Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in this regard through a presentation.
Ghosh said 70 per cent of the street vendors cant vend all over India. In most states, 30 per cent of the street vendors commenced vending, but due to lack of business, they are forced to close down.
Moreover, as number of COVID-19 cases has increased in many states and cities, lockdown has been imposed in several locations by the administration, he said.
He urged the Centre to provide grants to street vendors through direct cash transfer. The government is providing free foodgrains to people, it should provide some grants to street vendors also to help them overcome the economic crisis, he said.
Government has also offered cash backs worth Rs 1,200 for a year to promote digital transactions. The hawkers body urged the government to reduce the number of digital transactions and their value given the current situation. (PTI)