PRIME Minster Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, aimed at restoring swarozgar (self-employment), svavlamban (selfsustenance), and swabhimaan (selfconfidence) completed three years of its operations this year.
According to a ministry statement, the scheme within street vendors has become “one of the fastest growing micro-credit schemes of the Government of India and has provided its citizens access to credit and linkages to social security schemes”.
Significantly, the scheme was launched at the time of the Covid pandemic which had hit the street vendors hard. The pandemic and panic had forced them to shut down, while several returned home to distant villages.
PM SVANidhi was aimed at helping the affected street vendors to resume their livelihood. According to the ministry, it has achieved various milestones in financial inclusion and mainstreaming of street vendors.
Launched on June 1, 2020, the scheme has been providing microcredits to more than 36 lakh street vendors across India. As on June 30, 2023, about 48.5 lakh loan applications have been sanctioned, with over 46.4 lakh loans disbursed, amounting to a total of Rs. 5,795 crore, according to Government data.
According to Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, PM SVANidhi yojana is witnessing one of the fastest rollouts of Government schemes. He said it has led to an unparalleled wave of financial inclusion and digital literacy in India’s cities and towns that has provided dignity and stability to street vendors.
Incidentally, PM SVANidhi has enabled street vendors to tie up with food delivery platforms like Zomato, Swiggy etc. As of early January this year, the scheme has enabled the onboarding of 9,326 street vendors on such food delivery platforms. As of January 9, 2023, total sales worth Rs 21.93 crore have occurred on these platforms, the minister informed. Through such partnerships, a wider market has been made accessible to both vendors and consumers, he added.
In an event marking the three-year journey of the PM SVANidhi Scheme, the MoHUA organised an event at Vigyan Bhawan where a booklet highlighting its achievements and initiatives was released.
There is also a PM SVANidhi mobile app for street vendors, which helps them in the loan application process. It also provides information regarding various scheme. There is a ‘Udyam’ registration and ‘Udyam Assist’ certificate for street vendors on PM SVANidhi website that was launched in June with the help of the Ministry of Small and Medium enterprises. The process helps in obtaining Udyam Registration Certificate for promotion of business.
While such details and handholding are available on the website of PMSVANidhi at pmsvanidhi.mohua. gov.in, there is provision for those vendors not familiar with digital transactions.
In such cases, a banking correspondent, or an agent of a micro finance institution or from a payment aggregator, will approach the vendor to onboard and help in conducting sample transactions.
Such agents also help the applicants in filling up their requests and uploading documents in a mobile app or the website portal. Digital onboarding and training have been a key component of the scheme and MoHUA has been conducting training for PM SVANidhi beneficiaries in making digital transactions.
The scheme offers rewards on digital transactions. Among incentives offered to such vendors is a monthly cashback, which is between Rs 50 and Rs 100. An amount of Rs 50 is offered on executing 50 eligible transactions and an additional Rs. 25 for the next 50 eligible transactions.
Another Rs. 25 comes on executing 100 more eligible transactions. Any amount that is over Rs 25 is counted as a transaction. Not only the vendors, but states and lending institutions, which have shown good performance under the scheme, are also felicitated from time to time.
State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Union Bank of India were complimented for offering large numbers of loans to street vendors in the event held in the national Capital in June this year.
Among the regional rural banks (RRBs), Andhra Pradesh Grameen Vikas Bank, and from state cooperative banks, Stree Nidhi Credit Cooperative Federation Ltd, were also felicitated.