New Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) The role of the police force and civic bodies is important in protection of the livelihood of street vendors and creating a conducive environment for them, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.
At a virtual meet with state urban development ministers, chief secretaries and municipal commissioners among others to review the 'PM SVANidhi' scheme, he urged all participants to sensitise their subordinates towards the welfare of street vendors.
The scheme aims to provide street vendors loans of up to Rs 10,000, repayable in monthly instalments in a year, to restart their business post the COVID-19 lockdown.
Puri said with the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, a serious effort has been made for the first time to free the street vendors from the vicious cycle of indebtedness.
While the scheme provides credit facility to the vendors, there is a requirement to ensure that they are able to do business in a harassment-free environment, according to an official statement.
At the meeting, Puri said street vendors need to be provided with an environment where they have a sense of protection from undue harassment and eviction.
It is the duty of all authorities concerned to make sincere efforts towards achieving this objective, the Union minister said.
Puri urged the authorities to play a positive role in ensuring success of the street vendor scheme.
'The role of the police force and municipalities is important in the overall protection of livelihoods of street vendors and creating a conducive environment,' he was quoted as saying in the statement.
During the meeting, Puri emphasised that even in normal times, street vendors have a marginalised existence and their plight has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said the ministry is also in the process of preparing a plan to capture socio-economic profile of all PM SVANidhi beneficiaries in order to facilitate their access to various government welfare schemes as per their entitlements.
Street vendors constitute up to two per cent of the urban population and they contribute immensely to the informal economy, the minister said, adding that so far, over 5.7 lakh loan applications have been received of which over 1.35 lakh loans were sanctioned. PTI BUN NSD