Karnataka lags in loan scheme for street vendors

Karnataka lags in loan scheme for street vendors

Karnataka is ranked 7th nationally in terms of the number of loans sanctioned to street vendors

Representative image. Credit: AFP File Photo

Karnataka, which is India’s number one state in terms of lending under the Mudra scheme, has not managed to replicate the feat in the PM-SVANidhi programme to give capital loans to street vendors. 

According to data, Karnataka is ranked 7th nationally in terms of the number of loans sanctioned to street vendors, far behind the likes of Uttar Pradesh and Telangana. Apparently, the government’s failure in creating awareness of the scheme is to blame.  

PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi was operationalised in July 2020 to help approximately 50 lakh street vendors resume their businesses that were hit by the Covid-19 lockdown. The scheme provides collateral-free working capital loans of up to Rs 10,000 for one-year tenure, interest subsidy at 7% per annum on regular repayment, and a cashback of up to Rs 1,200 per annum for adopting digital payments. 

As of December 21, 2.02 lakh street vendors applied for a loan with banks of which just 38% were sanctioned. Nationally, UP tops the list followed by Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat. 

During the lockdown, the BS Yediyurappa administration announced a special package worth Rs 2,284 crore offering cash benefits to farmers, drivers, weavers, barbers, horticulturists, maize farmers, and ASHA workers. Street vendors could get back on their feet through loans under PM-SVANidhi.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not Bengaluru that saw the highest number of applications. Some 27,945 street vendors in Ballari, the highest, applied for loans followed by Belagavi (20,214) and Bengaluru Rural (14,698). The Bengaluru Urban district has seen 11,326 applications.

According to sources, the State Level Bankers’ Committee has asked the government to review the existing rate of stamp duty for loans under PM-SVANidhi by either waiving it completely or restricting it to an amount “not exceeding an aggregate value of Rs 50” for both loan agreement and hypothecation agreement executed separately or together. 

Banks, on their part, have taken some initiatives: Some have automated the entire loan process by taking it online, some have an app for sanctions and one bank has offered to generate UPI IDs to beneficiaries without a smartphone.