Inclusive Growth through PM SVANidhi: A Beacon of Hope for Street Vendors

PM SVANidhi


  • PM SVANidhi (Prime Minister Street Vendors’ Self-Reliance Nidhi) is a government scheme launched by the Government of India in June 2020.
  • Aim of the scheme is to support street vendors who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
  • The scheme aims to provide affordable working capital loans to street vendors to restart their businesses and improve their livelihoods.
  • Under PM SVANidhi, street vendors can get collateral-free loans up to Rs. 10,000 (increased to Rs. 20,000 in February 2022) with a repayment period of one year.
  • The scheme provides interest subsidy as an incentive for timely repayment. If the seller repays the loan on time, he can get an interest subsidy of 7% per year. The interest subsidy is credited to the seller’s bank account.

Street Vendor


Importance of street vendors in the Indian economy


  • Employment Generation: Street vending provides employment opportunities to a large number of people, especially those with limited education and skills. It serves as a source of livelihood for millions of people, contributing to poverty reduction and social inclusion.
  • Economic Contribution: Street vendors contribute to the overall economy through their economic activities. Street vendors generate income and pay taxes, that contribute to local economic growth. Money earned by street vendors spills over into the local economy, benefiting other businesses and individuals.
  • Accessibility and Affordability: Street vendors offer affordable goods and services to a extensive range of consumers, especially in low-income neighborhoods.
    They play an important role in providing essential items like clothing, food and household goods at reasonable prices, that making them accessible to a wide section of the population.
  • Informal Sector Support: Street vending is a significant part of the informal sector, that accounts for a significant portion of India’s economy. Street vendors often operate without formal licenses, that helps them allowing to start businesses with minimal capital.
  • Urban vibrancy: Street vendors contribute to the vibrancy and cultural richness of towns and cities. They offer a variety of products and delicacies reflecting the local cuisine and culture. Street markets and markets attract tourists and add charm and uniqueness to a place.
  • Social integration: Street vending serves as a platform for social integration by bringing together people from different backgrounds. Street vendors often provide a diverse customer base and interact with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, fostering social cohesion and cultural exchange.
  • Flexibility and Resilience: Street vending offers flexibility to vendors in terms of location, time and the ability to quickly adapt to changing market demands. This resilience is particularly important during economic downturns or crises when formal employment opportunities may be scarce.
  • Supply chain support: Street vendors act as an integral part of the supply chain of various commodities, especially perishable goods. They provide a vital link between producers, wholesalers and consumers, ensuring efficient distribution of products.

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Objectives and goals of PM SVANidhi


  1. Financial Inclusion: The scheme aims to provide formal financial inclusion to street vendors who usually have limited access to formal credit facilities. By providing working capital loans, it enables street vendors to access funds and operate their businesses more effectively.
  2. Revival of business: PM SVANidhi is trying to help street vendors revive and stabilize their businesses which were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Loans disbursed under the scheme can be used for various business-related purposes, such as purchasing raw materials, stocking inventories and covering other operational expenses.
  3. Poverty Alleviation: By helping street vendors improve their businesses, PM SVANidhi contributes to poverty alleviation. It helps street vendors to generate regular income, improve their standard of living and reduce their dependence on informal sources of credit.
  4. Empowerment and Skill Development: The project aims to empower street vendors by providing them necessary financial resources and support to grow their businesses. It also focuses on skill development and capacity building, that providing opportunities for street vendors to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.
  5. Social Security: PM SVANidhi aims to facilitate the social security of street vendors by ensuring their inclusion in various government schemes and programmes. It helps street vendors get benefits like insurance coverage, access to pension schemes and other social welfare measures.
  6. Digital Transformation: The scheme encourages the adoption of digital technology among street vendors, that enabling them to embrace digital transactions, access online marketplaces and improve their business operations. It encourages the use of digital payment systems and provides training to vendors to enhance their digital literacy.

street vendor


Eligibility criteria for street vendors to avail PM SVANidhi


  1. Category of Vendors: The scheme applies, that vendors, who earn by selling goods and services on footpaths, streets or any other public space in urban and rural areas.
  2. Vending Commencement Date: Street vendors should commence vending on or before March 24, 2020. This criteria ensures that vendors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown are eligible for the scheme.
  3. Vendor Certification: Street vendors must have a valid identity card issued by the concerned Urban Local Body (ULB) or Town Vending Committee (TVC). This card serves as proof of their vending activity.
  4. Loan Requirement: Street vendors should have a savings bank account, as loans under PM SVANidhi are disbursed directly to eligible vendors’ bank accounts. The bank account can be in the name of the seller or in the name of a family member of the seller.
  5. Not Beneficiary of any other Government Scheme: Street vendors who are already beneficiaries of any other Central Government scheme are not eligible for the benefit of PM SVANidhi. This criterion aims to ensure that the benefits reach those who are not covered by other schemes.

Vendor

  • It is important to note that the specific eligibility criteria may vary slightly across states and union territories, as the scheme is implemented at the state and local levels. Therefore, street vendors are recommended to check the detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria issued by their respective state governments or local authorities for specific information regarding their eligibility for PM SVANidhi.

Positive impact of PM SVANidhi on the livelihoods of street vendors


  • Access to formal credit: PM SVANidhi enables street vendors to access formal credit facilities from banks, microfinance institutions or self-help groups. Previously, many street vendors relied on informal sources of credit, which often charged high interest rates. By providing affordable credit, PM SVANidhi allows vendors to expand their businesses, purchase inventory and invest in equipment, thereby increasing income and improving livelihoods.
  • Financial Inclusion: Street vendors are encouraged to open bank accounts and become part of the formal financial system through PM SVANidhi. This inclusion helps them build a credit history, improve their financial literacy and gain access to various financial products and services. It empowers them to save, conduct digital transactions and participate in the wider economy, thus increasing their financial security.
  • Reduced Vulnerability: Street vendors are often vulnerable to harassment, eviction and confiscation of goods due to the informal nature of their business. PM SVANidhi provides street vendors with a formal identity card, protecting them from arbitrary action and ensuring their right to run their businesses. This legal recognition increases their security and reduces the risks associated with their livelihood.
  • Skill development and capacity building: The program provides skill development training to street vendors, equipping them with business management skills, financial literacy and knowledge of government schemes. These training sessions enhance their entrepreneurial skills, enable them to make informed decisions, adopt best practices and improve their business skills.

Vendor

Challenges faced by street vendors in India


  • Lack of legal recognition: Many street vendors operate in a legal gray area, as they often lack the appropriate licenses or permits to operate their business. This makes them vulnerable to harassment and eviction by the authorities.
  • Harassment and extortion: Street vendors often face harassment from police, local authorities or local gangsters who extort money from them in exchange for allowing them to operate. This increases their financial burden and affects their livelihood.
  • Limited access to credit and financial services: Street vendors often lack access to formal credit and financial services, making it difficult for them to expand their business or deal with emergencies. They depend on informal sources of credit, which often come with high interest rates and unfavorable terms.
  • Inadequate infrastructure: Street vendors often operate in areas with inadequate infrastructure, such as lack of proper sanitation facilities, waste management systems, and designated vending zones. This affects their working conditions and the hygiene of the surroundings.

Conclusion


  • PM SVANidhi is a game-changer for street vendors in India, providing them with the tools and support they need to lead a self-reliant life. By addressing critical challenges like access to credit, legal recognition, social security benefits and infrastructure development, the scheme is unlocking the potential of millions of street vendors across the country. It not only improves vendors lives but also contributes to the overall economic growth and social inclusion of the country.

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FAQ


Government Website ⇔

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