What is the PM SVANidhi scheme? What are its features and objectives? Who are the beneficiaries? Read on to learn more.
Street vending in India has a rich and diverse history, deeply embedded in the socio-economic fabric of the country. The tradition of street vending can be traced back to ancient times, and over the centuries, it has evolved as an integral part of India’s urban landscape.
The COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing lockdowns have negatively influenced street sellers’ livelihoods. Normally, they only have a modest amount of capital, which they might have depleted during the lockdown.
To support them, the government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme.
What is PM SVANidhi?
PM SVANidhi is a central sector program that makes it easier for street sellers to get loans for reasonable operating capital for resuming their livelihood activities, after the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
The loans could be provided by the following institutions: Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies, Micro-Finance Institutions, and SHG Banks.
The scheme has been extended till December 2024 from the initial target of March 2022.
Objective of the scheme
(i) To facilitate a working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000 at a subsidized rate of interest;
(ii) To incentivize regular repayment of the loan; and
(iii) To reward digital transactions
Features of the scheme
- Loan Assistance: Street vendors can avail of working capital loans up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly installments.
- Interest Subsidy: Beneficiaries who repay their loans on time are eligible for an interest subsidy. This serves as an incentive for prompt repayment.
- Digital Payments: Promote digital transactions and reduce the dependence on cash transactions by encouraging beneficiaries to use digital payment methods.
- Identification of Beneficiaries: The scheme aims to cover street vendors who were vending in urban areas on or before March 24, 2020. States and Union Territories are responsible for identifying eligible beneficiaries.
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- Urban Local Bodies (ULBs): Municipalities and local bodies play a crucial role in the implementation of the scheme, including the identification of beneficiaries.
- Partnerships: The scheme involves collaboration with various stakeholders, including banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and digital payment service providers.
- Online Application: Street vendors can apply for the PM SVANidhi scheme through an online portal, facilitating a streamlined application process.
Who are the target beneficiaries of PM SVANidhi?
Street vendors/ hawkers vending in urban areas, as on or before March 24, 2020, including the vendors of surrounding peri-urban and rural
areas are the target beneficiaries of the scheme.
A vendor is anyone selling items, goods, wares, food items, or merchandise of daily use to the public in the street, footpath, pavement, etc., either from a temporary built-up structure or by moving from place to place, according to the scheme’s requirements.
They offer a variety of goods and services, such as barbershops, cobblers, pan shops, laundry services, and ready-to-eat street cuisines like vegetables, fruits, tea, pakodas, bread, eggs, textiles, and clothing.
- To avail the loan, a vendor should:
- Possess a Certificate of Vending / Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)
- The vendors, who have been identified in the survey of street vendors but have not been issued Certificate of Vending / Identity Card
- In case a vendor is left out of the survey, he/she needs to produce one of the following documents to obtain the Letter of Recommendation (LoR) from Urban Local Bodies /TVC
- Documents of past loans taken from a bank/ NBFC/ MFI for vending
- Membership details, If a member of street vendors’ associations like NASVI, NHF, SEWA, etc.
- Any other documents to prove that s/he is a vendor
- The vendor can also request ULB through a simple application on white paper to conduct a local inquiry to ascertain the genuineness of his/her claim for receipt of LoR.
KYC documents needed: Aadhaar Card / Voter’s Identity Card / Driving Licence / MNREGA Card / PAN Card.
Street vendors represent a very important constituent of the urban informal economy and play a significant role in ensuring availability of the goods and services at affordable rates at the doorstep of the city dwellers. They are known as vendors, hawkers, thelewala, rehriwala, theliphadwala, etc. in different areas/ contexts. The goods supplied by them include vegetables, fruits, ready-to-eat street food, tea, pakodas, bread, eggs, textiles, apparel, footwear, artisan products, books/stationery, etc. The services include barber shops, cobblers, pan shops, laundry services, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns have adversely impacted the livelihoods of street vendors. They usually work with a small capital base and might have consumed the same during the lockdown. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide credit for working capital to street vendors to resume their business.
The PM SVANidhi scheme has been implemented across various states and Union Territories in India. It aims to uplift the economic condition of street vendors by providing them with financial support and promoting the formalization of their businesses.
Article written by: Caroline Abraham