PM has announced the extension of the SVANidhi scheme for the welfare of the Street Vendors. PM’s SVANidhi Scheme for Street Vendors comes as welcome support to the vendors. This scheme will equip vendors with an online platform through which they can resume their business services.
During the COVID lockdown situation, all businesses have faced innumerable challenges. If we consider the challenges for the foodservice businesses, an image of empty, deserted restaurants comes to mind. Restaurants have indeed been through a rough patch at this time, but the ones who have had it worse are the street vendors. Restaurants have a backup option where they can provide delivery services through various online platforms to make a revenue. But when it comes to street vendors, despite the regular challenges of uncertainty and insecurity that they faced before the lockdown, the situation has only exponentially worsened for them. In this sense, PM’s SVANidhi Scheme for Street Vendors is like a lifeline.
The Vision of PM’s SVANidi Scheme
As a support to the Vendors, PM made an announcement, that an online delivery platform is being prepared specially for the street vendors. This platform will give them a chance to sustain in these dire times. The vendors have been given an assurance that the government will take this effort further if they come forward to benefit from these schemes. This announcement was made by the PM on 7th September. This comes as a lifeline to the Street Vendors, who had practically lost all their sales since the commencement of the lockdown.
The step of support is a part of the PM Street Vendors’ Aatmanirbhar Nidhi or PM SVANidhi scheme. The introduction of the SVANidhi scheme was on June 1 to help poor street vendors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic resume livelihood activities. It would be wrong to assume that the vendors who made quite a livelihood for themselves through their outlet have not found any alternative sources of revenue since the months that the lockdown has been initiated. Nevertheless, this new scheme will form a strong network of support for them.
Leveling the Playfield
This comes as a breath of fresh air for the significant number of Indians who make their bread and butter through selling street food. According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there are 10 million street vendors in India. Out of the 10 million, Mumbai accounts for 250,000, Delhi has 450,000, Kolkata, more than 150,000, and Ahmedabad, 100,000. These stats prove that street vendors consist of a significant portion of the financial pie.
This scheme will put a lot of emphasis on the use of digital payments. This is a plus point because since the past 2-3 years efforts have been made to encourage street vendors to adopt online payment methods. By now, it is safe to say that many of these SMB (small, medium business) owners are well equipped to make the best out of the upcoming online platform. This truly comes as a means to level the field for these vendors up to the same level as the restaurants.
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