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Bhopal: No benefit for 70% street vendors even 8 months after launch of Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Yojana

10:57 PM Jan 20, 2021 | Staff Reporter

BHOPAL: Nearly 70 per cent of the street vendors in Bhopal have not been able to avail of the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Yojana even after 8 months of the announcement of the scheme due to a lack of coordination between Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the banks.

Under the scheme, announced in June 2020, street vendors will be able to avail of loans of Rs 10,000 in a year. The Centre had rolled out the scheme to extend help to those vendors who had lost their livelihood during the corona-induced lockdown.

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There are only 22,000 such vendors for whom the loan has been sanctioned from banks. On the other hand, there are nearly 60,000 registered vendors in Bhopal.

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‘No space for stalls’ ‘BMC hasn’t provided vendors the space they need to run their stalls. During any anti-encroachment drive, the civic body razes our stalls without providing us an alternative location. The banks, too, turn us away on various pretexts and the administration should discuss the matter with the bank officials’
Ratnesh Upadhyay, a vendor
‘Expedited process’ ‘We’ve held a meeting with the officials of all the banks and urged them to expedite the process. The figures of loan disbursement are not encouraging, but we’ve expedited the process to extend the benefits to the vendors’
Pawan Singh, additional commissioner, BMC

Civic body officials, on the other hand, say the vendors have to register for loans, with one-time passwords (OTP) sent on their mobiles phones twice during their registration. However, most of the vendors do not own mobile phones.

BMC is the nodal agency for registration for loans from banks and this involves four steps. But the vendors allege gross negligence on the part of the civic body, saying all the steps involve their personal presence and the officials do not complete the process with priority.

The vendors say they cannot visit the BMC office every time they are asked to, keeping their shops closed. They say the officials of the banks turn them away citing incomplete details furnished by BMC.

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