India’s journey to independence is a remarkable saga of resilience, sacrifice, and determination, spanning 75 years of progress and prosperity. To commemorate this historic milestone, the Government of India conceptualized the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), celebrating India’s glorious history, its people, and their achievements. One of the integral components of AKAM is the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, aimed at providing a lifeline to the nano entrepreneurs of the country – the street vendors.
Street vendors play a pivotal role in ensuring the availability of goods and services at affordable rates, right at the doorstep of city dwellers. Over the years, they have become an indispensable part of India’s economic growth, with linkages to both the formal and informal economies. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns took a toll on this vibrant community, leading to a rapid erosion of their capital base and financial hardships.
In response to the challenges faced by street vendors, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) introduced the PM SVANidhi scheme, a micro-credit initiative aimed at providing handholding support to these vendors. This scheme offers a working capital collateral-free loan of up to ₹10,000 for a maximum tenure of 12 months. Subsequent loans of ₹20,000 and ₹50,000 are also made available for maximum tenures of 18 and 36 months, respectively, with a 7% interest subsidy. Furthermore, the scheme focuses on increasing the digital footprint in India by promoting the use of digital transactions among street vendors. To incentivize the adoption of digital transactions, a cashback of up to ₹100 per month is provided to street vendors.
The SVANidhi Se Samriddhi component of the scheme goes beyond financial support and aims to encourage street vendors to build a safety net for their families, facilitating holistic development. Under this component, PM SVANidhi beneficiaries and their family members are granted single-window access to eight Central Government welfare schemes. This integrated approach seeks to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries and their families, fostering overall growth and development.
As the PM SVANidhi scheme enters its third year, it stands as a testament to the concerted efforts of all participating stakeholders in contributing towards the economic growth of India’s nano entrepreneurs – its street vendors. To further honor and recognize the contributions of these vendors, the AKAM includes the ‘SVANidhi Mahotsav,’ a cultural event organized in 75 cities across 33 States/Union Territories of India. The primary objective of this Mahotsav is to celebrate street vendors who demonstrated good credit discipline and embraced digital transaction behavior, showcasing their essential role in the nation’s economic fabric.
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Eligibility Criteria for PM SVANidhi Scheme:
The PM SVANidhi scheme is open to all street vendors engaged in vending in urban areas, subject to specific criteria. Eligible vendors fall under the following categories:
1. Street vendors possessing a Certificate of Vending/Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
2. Vendors identified in surveys but yet to receive the Certificate of Vending are provided with a Provisional Certificate of Vending through an IT-based platform. ULBs are mandated to issue permanent Certificates of Vending and Identification Cards within one month.
Additionally, the scheme extends support to street vendors left out of the ULB-led identification survey or those who began vending after the survey’s completion and have received a Letter of Recommendation from the ULB/Town Vending Committee (TVC). Vendors from surrounding development/peri-urban/rural areas, vending within the geographical limits of the ULBs and holding a Letter of Recommendation, are also eligible.
Moreover, the scheme is available for beneficiaries belonging to States/Union Territories that have notified Rules and Schemes under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, with an exception for Meghalaya, which has its own State Street Vendors Act.
To ensure smooth processing, certain mandatory information is collected from vendors, including Voter ID No, Minority Status, PWD Status, Benefits availed under Central Government Schemes, and Aadhaar Card No.
Repayment and Scheme Period:
The repayment for PM SVANidhi loans is structured as Equal Monthly Installments (EMIs). Timely or early repayment makes vendors eligible for the next cycle of working capital loans with enhanced limits. Importantly, no prepayment penalty is charged for repaying before the scheduled date.
The scheme period for lending under PM SVANidhi has been extended until December 2024. Additionally, Credit Guarantee and Interest Subsidy claims on all loans will be paid until March 2028, reaffirming the government’s commitment to supporting street vendors’ growth and stability.
The PM SVANidhi scheme under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav stands as a shining example of India’s dedication to the welfare of its street vendors, the nano entrepreneurs driving the nation’s economic growth. By providing financial support, promoting digital transactions, and extending access to welfare schemes, the government is empowering street vendors and their families for a better and more prosperous future. As the scheme continues to evolve, it serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity, epitomizing India’s relentless spirit of progress and unity in its 75th year of independence.
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