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SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ phase II launched to shield 28 lakh street vendors

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has expanded the ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ programme to 126 cities in 14 states and union territories. The program’s implementing partner is the Quality Council of India (QCI).

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Key Points:

  • SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ is a PMSVANidhi add-on initiative that began on January 4, 2021 in 125 cities with the goal of mapping the socioeconomic profile of PMSVANidhi participants and their families.
  • It determines whether or not beneficiaries are eligible for several Central welfare initiatives (8) and promotes links to these programmes.
  • Pradhan Mantri is one of these programmes. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yojana, Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana Yogi Maandhan Yojana, Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act (BOCW), National Food Security Act (NFSA) portability benefit – One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), Janani Suraksha Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana are some of the schemes available (PMMVY).

‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ Coverage: Approximately 35 lakh street vendors and their families were covered in Phase 1.

  • With a total objective of 20 lakh scheme sanctions for FY 2022-23, Phase 2 aims to cover 28 lakh street vendors and their families. The remaining cities would be added to the programme over time.
  • Achievements of ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’:
  • Despite the hurdles given by the Covid-19 pandemic, the initiative was effective in providing social security benefits to street vendor families, thereby shielding them from any dangers and vulnerabilities to their lives and livelihoods in the years 2020-21.

The programme has two major accomplishments:

  • One is the creation of a central database of street vendors and their families based on numerous socioeconomic variables.
  • Second, a first-of-its-kind inter-ministerial convergence platform has been built amongst multiple Central Ministries in order to expand the safety net of welfare schemes to households that work as street vendors.

What exactly is the PM SVANidhi Scheme?

  • The Prime Minister’s Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) was announced as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’s Economic Stimulus-II.
  • With a sanctioned budget of Rs. 700 crore, it has been in place since June 1, 2020, to provide cheap working capital loans to street vendors to help them continue their livelihoods that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Aim of the PM SVANidhi Scheme:

  • To assist over 50 lakh street sellers in metropolitan regions, including those from surrounding peri-urban/rural areas, who were vending on or before March 24, 2020.
  • To encourage digital transactions by offering cash-back incentives of up to Rs. 1,200 per year.

Features  of PM SVANidhi Scheme:

  • Vendors can take out a working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000, which they can return in monthly payments over a one-year period.
  • On a quarterly basis, an interest subsidy of 7% per year will be credited to beneficiaries’ bank accounts via Direct Benefit Transfer if the loan is repaid on time or early.
  • There will be no penalty for repaying the loan early. Vendors might benefit from a higher credit limit if they repay the loan on time or early.

Challenges faced by PM SVANidhi Scheme:

  • Several banks are looking for stamp paper applications priced between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500.
  • There have also been reports of banks requesting PAN cards and even examining applicants’ CIBIL or credit scores, as well as state governments requesting voter ID cards, which many migrant vendors do not have.
  • The CIBIL score assesses a person’s credit history and determines their eligibility for loans.
  • There have also been allegations of police and municipal authorities harassing people.
  • States should be asked to ensure that street vendors are not persecuted by police because all they are asking for is the right to a living.
  • The Centre has also opted to send the applications to bank branches that the applicant has designated as a preferred lender or where the vendor has a savings bank account.
  • A software that can “push” over 3 lakh applications to banks has also been developed.

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