Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh/Lucknow, October 28
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his government has acknowledged the honesty and hard work of street vendors by offering them loans that were inaccessible to the poor in the past.
Through video conferencing, Modi praised a Varanasi based street vendor, Arvind Maurya, a beneficiary of PM SVANidhi scheme, who told the PM that he offered a free momo to those who wore masks and followed social distancing to keep Covid-19 at bay.
Interacting with the Prime Minister, Arvind told him: “I sell momos and coffee and have my vending cart in Durga Kund area.”
On being asked if he faced any problems in getting loan under the scheme, Arvind said: “No. Officials of Varanasi Nagar Nigam and district urban development authority did a survey and had a form filled. Around after a week, I got a call from my bank branch that Rs 10,000 loan had been sanctioned. I went to the bank with a copy of my Aadhaar card and the certificate issued by the Nagar Nigam and the money was transferred into my account.”
On a lighter note, PM Modi said that nobody offered him momos whenever he visited Varanasi, Arvind invited him to his vending cart. When the PM asked him if he was aware that he can make his loan interest free under the scheme, the beneficiary said: “Yes, I am aware that if I pay my instalment on time, I can make it interest free and get further assistance worth Rs 20,000 for a year.”
The PM SVANidhi scheme was launched on June 1 this year to help poor street vendors, impacted by economic distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in resuming livelihood activities. Around 25 lakh applications have been received of which 12 lakh have been sanctioned. — With PTI