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Main Bhi Digital 3.0 Campaign

  • 10 Dec 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched 'Main Bhi Digital 3.0' Campaign under PM SVANidhi ( Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi) Scheme.

Key Points

  • About:
    • It is a special Campaign for Digital Onboarding and Training (DOaT) for Street Vendors (SVs).
    • It is aimed at digital onboarding of SVs who have already been provided loans under PM SVANidhi Scheme.
    • Lending Institutions (LIs) have been instructed to issue a durable QR Code & Unified Payments Interface (UPI) ID at the time of disbursement and train the beneficiaries in conduct of digital transactions.
    • An Integrated IT Platform has been developed for implementation of this Scheme. SVs can apply for loans directly through PM SVANidhi Portal.
  • PM SVANidhi Scheme:
    • About:
      • It was announced as a part of the Economic Stimulus-II under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
      • It has been implemented since 1st June 2020, for providing affordable working capital loans to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdowns, with a sanctioned budget of Rs. 700 crore.
    • Aims:
      • To benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before 24th March 2020, in urban areas including those from surrounding peri-urban/rural areas.
      • To promote digital transactions through cash-back incentives up to an amount of Rs. 1,200 per annum.
        • As of 31st January 2021, the PM SVANidhi scheme has disbursed loans to 13.82 Lakh beneficiaries amounting to Rs 1,363.88 Crores.
    • Features:
      • The vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly installments in the tenure of one year.
      • On timely/early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on a quarterly basis.
      • There will be no penalty on early repayment of the loan. The vendors can avail the facility of the enhanced credit limit on timely/early repayment of the loan.
    • Challenges:
      • Several banks are seeking applications on stamp papers worth between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500.
      • There have also been instances of banks seeking PAN cards and even checking the CIBIL or Credit score of applicants or state authorities asking for voter ID cards, which many migrant vendors do not carry with them.
        • CIBIL score is an evaluation of one's credit history and determines their eligibility for a loan.
      • There have also been complaints of harassment by police and municipal officials.

Way Forward

  • PM SVANidhi scheme should be permanent: It should be reimagined as a permanent development scheme for 'ultra-micro industries' (street vendors). This would allow them to access credit on a permanent basis.
  • Inclusion of all India vendor representatives in monitoring committees: Section 19 of the PM SVANidhi scheme guidelines (establishing central, state and local monitoring committees to assess its progress) should be modified to include representatives from the vendor unions. They were involved in the conception of the scheme, so should be included in its implementation too.
  • Local administrations should operate according to Street Vendors Act: Street Vendors Act 2014 envisages the formation of TVCs (Town Vending Committee) in various districts to ensure that all street vendors identified by the government are accommodated in the vending zones subject to norms.
    • To avoid widespread evictions and harassment of vendors, the scheme, along with related procedures such as declaring of vending zones, drafting of state rules, schemes and bye-laws, must be dealt with in the context of this Act.

Source: PIB

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