By G. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Navi Bombay
POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 00:59 IST
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has started to implement the State Government’s Prime Minister Atmanirbhar (SVA) Street Vendor Nidhi Program.
The plan offers up to ??10,000 as working capital loan to hawkers. The scheme was introduced by the central government following the loss of livelihoods suffered by hawkers due to the Covid pandemic lockdown. The program will be available to hawkers in the city who worked before March 24, when the lockdown was announced.
Abhijit Bangar, NMMC Commissioner, said: “Hawkers who face financial problems have few resources to buy goods and basic commodities to do their business. We promote the program to help them get that amount to reinvest in the business. Anyone, whether they are street vendors, hawkers or handcart owners, can benefit from the program. The loan is used to purchase vegetables, fruits, prepared foods, bread, eggs, tea, shoes, clothing, crafts, stationery, pot stalls and books, among others.
NMMC officials said about 2,500 applications have been received so far by the civic body, of which 423 have requested letters of recommendation.
Hawkers who have been issued an identity card as well as those who have been investigated but have not received the license can apply under the program. Those who worked as hawkers before March 24 but were not covered by the investigation will need a letter of recommendation from the NMMC.
According to the scheme, the loan will be granted for a period of one year and must be repaid in installments. Those who repay the loan on time will be entitled to an additional loan. A 7 percent interest subsidy will also be deposited into their accounts quarterly. Online payments will attract cash back rewards for hawkers.