Rs 10,000 Loan to be Given to Street Vendors to Restart Work After Lockdown, Says Sitharaman

In order to revive businesses of street vendors that have taken a serious hit due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Centre on Thursday launched a special credit facility amounting to a total of Rs 5,000 crore that will provide them Rs 10,000 as initial working capital.

“Government of India will launch a special credit facility within a month,” said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her media briefing on Thursday. This was the second tranche of announcements as part of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

The Centre expects that this will benefit 50 lakh street vendors. Digital payments will be incentivised through monetary rewards as part of the scheme. “This will provide liquidity of Rs 5,000 crore,” added Sitharaman.

The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) had earlier decided to train street vendors in the measures they need to take while selling food.

The training will focus on keeping a separate table next to the cart from where customers can collect food, keeping a water dispenser, wearing protective gear, using disinfectants to keep the cart clean, opting for online payment, home deliveries in nearby areas among other things.

The training will be based on guidelines prepared by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food businesses during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

While there were close to 1.45 lakh authorised street vendors as per government records based on surveys done in 2007 and 2011, their exact number now is not known as no survey has taken place in the recent past. According to NASVI, there are over three lakh vendors (approximately) in Delhi alone.

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