New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): Highlighting the role of street vendors in India's economic growth, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said street vendors are not encroachers but self-employed and contributors to the collective dream of a new India.
Addressing the 16th meeting of the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), here, Puri said, "Street vendors have been, are and will always be an essential part of India's economic growth story, with strong linkages with the urban informal economy."
The minister said that the theme of Saturday's meeting 'From Encroachers to Self-Employed' is very apt as the government appreciates street vendors.
"They are not encroachers, they are self-employed, contributors in our collective dream of a new India," he added.
He said that as the country is celebrating 75 years of Independence, the Centre has given a message to all states, municipalities, and urban local bodies to celebrate SVANidhi Mahotsav with the active participation of street vendors all over the country.
Various success stories of street vendors and their contributions to India's economic growth story will also be brought to the public, he added. He said that the biggest supporter of street vendors is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The minister said that street vendors were provided with capital working loans to help resume their businesses which were impacted during the pandemic. As of July 11, 2022, Rs 3,661 crore had been provided as micro-credits to more than 30 lakh street vendors, Puri said.
He said that the design of the scheme was to offer collateral-free working capital loans of Rs 10,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively on repayment of the earlier loans to street vendors and this helped them to plan their business expansion.
Phase 1 of SVANidhi se Samriddhi was launched in January 2021, under which 31 lakh street vendors and their families across 125 cities were covered, he added.
Puri further said that it is our mantra that dignity should be extended to everyone and that the service and contribution of each individual should be recognized fairly.
The vulnerable and marginalised sections of our society, especially in cities and towns, have benefitted immensely from various government-led interventions, he added.
Reacting to the request made by NASVI for setting up a grievances committees, the minister assured that these will be formed very soon. It is also important to have a meeting of about 4,500 Town Vending Committees, and these platforms will help address the local issues of others at your level, he added. (ANI)