Hawker Corps – The New Indian Express
KOLKATA: An organization of hawkers suggested that the Center postpone the disbursement of the loan under the PM SVANidhi program to September for the beneficiaries.
The “PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi” (PM SVANidhi) program launched this month aims to offer microloans up to Rs 10,000 at a subsidized rate to overcome the pandemic COVID-19 crisis to around 50 lakh micro-vendors .
The program offers cash back rewards to encourage the adoption of digital payments.
The portal is open for digital applications and over 40,000 vendors have applied for loans and over 300 have been sanctioned.
“If the loan disbursement begins immediately, we think the street vendors would spend the loan money to make ends meet, as 70% have not been able to restart their business and are already in great difficulty.
The consequence of this is that they would not be able to repay the loan, “the general secretary of the National Federation of Hawkers, Saktiman Ghosh, told PTI.
“The benefits of the loan will be in vain. In our opinion, the process should continue, but the disbursement of the loans should start in September 2020,” Ghosh said.
He said the Federation drew the attention of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in this regard through a presentation.
Ghosh said that 70% of street vendors cannot sell all over India.
In most states, 30 percent of street vendors have started selling, but due to lack of activity they are forced to close.
Additionally, as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in many states and cities, the lockdown has been imposed in several locations by the administration, he said.
He urged the Center to provide subsidies to street vendors through direct cash transfers.
The government provides people with free food grains, it should also provide subsidies to street vendors to help them overcome the economic crisis, he said.
The government also offered cash back rewards worth 1,200 rupees for one year to promote digital transactions.
The hawkers’ organization urged the government to reduce the number of digital transactions and their value given the current situation.