GUWAHATI, Sept 2: In a groundbreaking achievement, Assam has emerged as the leader in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors’ AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme, with an exceptional disbursement percentage of 90.84% as of September 1, 2023.
Street vendors in Assam stand to gain immensely from the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors’ AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 1, 2020, the scheme aims to provide collateral-free working capital loans to street vendors, hawkers, and small traders adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate their transition from the informal to the formal sector.
The scheme not only provides loans in three tranches of Rs 10,000, Rs 20,000, and Rs 50,000, but also digitally onboards vendors to promote digital transactions.
Expressing his delight at the state’s accomplishment Assam housing and urban affairs minister Ashok Singhal said, “This is a monumental achievement for Assam and exemplifies our unwavering commitment to bolster the unorganized sector in the state. The success of the PM SVANidhi Scheme is a testament to our vision of ensuring financial inclusion and economic empowerment for street vendors and small traders.”
“Under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Assam government has prioritized the welfare of the state’s unorganized sector. This achievement reaffirms our dedication to creating a more prosperous and self-reliant Assam,” Singhal said.
The relentless efforts of all officers and officials of the state housing and urban affairs helped in the successful implementation of the scheme under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission, the minister said.
The state had also achieved its initial target of 52,000 disbursements under the first tranche within the stipulated time, earning the top spot among hilly and Northeastern states. In recognition of the state’s exceptional efforts, the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs felicitated the state during the celebrations of completion of three years of the PM SVANidhi scheme in New Delhi in June this year.
Meanwhile, the government has taken several initiatives to ensure the continued successful implementation of the scheme in the state. These include a cabinet decision to waive stamp duty for the scheme, involving elected representatives like MLAs and MPs to reach out to the target population and sensitization of stakeholders such as ULBs and banks regarding the scheme’s importance through various meetings. Regular review meetings at the highest levels to monitor the scheme’s implementation have also helped.
Moreover, the state government has also undertaken a number of IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) activities to create awareness among the target group and ensure all eligible beneficiaries benefit from the scheme. These activities encompass newspaper advertisements, digital media coverage, leaflet distribution in all ULBs, broadcast of radio jingles, street plays in market areas, and hoardings, among others. Financial literacy camps are also being organized across ULBs to educate street vendors about the benefits of digital transactions and timely loan repayment.
Assam’s outstanding performance in implementing the PM SVANidhi Scheme serves as an inspiration for the nation, showcasing the transformative potential of government initiatives when executed with dedication and precision. It reinforces the vision of a more prosperous and self-reliant India, where the grassroots economy thrives.