Loans for street vendors should not be a hurdle to ensuring safe footpaths, traffic movement, say councillors of the elected body
Councillors of Mangaluru City Corporation at a meeting called by Mayor Diwakar here on Wednesday suggested that distributing loans to street vendors under the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atmanirbhar Nidhi Yojana or PM SVANidhi Scheme should not become a nuisance while ensuring safe footpaths for pedestrians and smooth traffic movement in the city.
PM SVANidhi Scheme was launched on June 1, 2020 by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to help street vendors, who were affected by the coronavirus situation, resume their livelihood activities. The scheme aims to provide working capital loans up to ₹ 10,000 at a subsidised rate of interest. The interest subsidy on timely or early repayment of the loan is at 7 per cent and street vendors will be allowed to repay the loan in monthly instalments in one year.
If someone can pay up earlier than the tenure, an interest subsidy of 7 % per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries every quarter. And, there will be no penalty on early repayment of the loan.
Also, there is a monthly cash back incentive on digital payments. The benefits can be availed of by street vendors or hawkers in urban, pre-urban and rural areas.
Scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks, small finance banks, cooperative banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), micro-finance institutions and Self-Help Group (SHG) Banks will be providing loans under the scheme.
An official of the corporation told the meeting that the government has set a target of advancing loan to 5,000 street vendors in the city. Of these, loans have been distributed to 102 vendors now.
The councillors said that the civic body should ensure that there was no duplication in sanctioning and releasing of loans as in some cases one street vendor “outsourced” his business to many. The loans should reach the real needy.
They said that the civic body will have to evict street vendors from certain areas for making space for pedestrians and vehicular traffic. In such cases, sanctioning of loan should not come in the way to prevent their eviction.
A councillor said that though the civic body had created a street vendors zone near the Service Bus Stand by making arrangements for them, none of them has occupied the place reserved for them.
Whip in the council Premananda Shetty suggested that loans can be given to those who delivered newspapers at the doorsteps of people, along with milk and milk products.
Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said that the civic body has identified 951 vendors in the city.
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