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PM’s interaction with street vendors from Madhya Pradesh

My colleague in the Union Council of Ministers, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri ji, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Bhai Shivraj ji, other members of the state cabinet, people associated with the administration, all the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Scheme and all my dear brothers and sisters who are attending this programme from Madhya Pradesh and outside Madhya Pradesh.

First of all, I extend my best wishes to all the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Scheme. A little while ago, I had the opportunity to talk to some beneficiaries. There is conviction in their expression and a hope is also visible. This faith is the greatest success and strength of the Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Scheme. I respectfully salute the strength of your labour, your self-esteem and self-confidence.

I also extend my best wishes to all the friends of the country who are moving ahead with Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Scheme. I congratulate Madhya Pradesh and the team of Shivraj ji in particular because more than one lakh street vendors have benefited from the Svanidhi Scheme within two months due to their efforts.

I think it is a great job to provide identity cards and certificates of vending to 4.5 lakh street vendors in such a short time notwithstanding the Corona pandemic. I am hopeful that other states will also draw inspiration from the efforts of Madhya Pradesh and will be encouraged and make concrete attempts to ensure that all our street vendor brothers and sisters in all the cities of India get money from banks.

Friends, whenever there is such a major crisis in the world, or the epidemic occurs, the first and foremost effect is on our poor brothers and sisters. The poor have to suffer even if there is more rain, or cold or heat. The poor have a crisis of employment, a crisis of eatables, and he loses whatever savings he has made. The pandemic brings along all these problems with it. Our poor brothers and sisters, our labour friends, our street vendor colleagues, they have suffered the most during this pandemic.

There were many who used to work in other cities, but had to return to their villages during the pandemic. And therefore, the efforts of the government and the country have been to make concerted efforts right from day one of the Corona pandemic to mitigate the sufferings of the poor. The country took care of the food and ration of the people who were in distress and also provided free gas cylinders.

Lakhs of people were given employment through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan. In the midst of several schemes for the poor, there was a very big segment which needed special attention. These were my street vendor brothers and sisters. The families of our lakhs of street vendor friends are dependent on their daily wages. Markets were closed down due to Corona, people started living inside their homes fearing for their lives, and as a result the business of our street vendor brothers and sisters was hit the hardest. The Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Scheme has been launched to pull them out of their distress.

The purpose behind this scheme is to ensure easy capital to the people so that they can make fresh beginning and can restart their work. They should not be compelled to pay high interests for the money borrowed. This has happened for the first time that the network of lakhs of street vendors has got a new identity and they have been connected with the system in a proper way. The Svanidhi scheme is an important milestone in the journey of self-finance to self-employment, from self-employment to self-sustenance and from self-sustenance to self-esteem.

Friends, you have been told about the Svanidhi scheme. Colleagues I spoke to now are very much aware of it. But it is very essential that all the needy and every street vendor should know everything about this scheme. Only then, our poor brothers and sisters will be able to make benefit of it.

This scheme has been simplified in such a way that every common man can connect with it. As our sister Archanaji was telling us just now how her work got done very easily. She did not have any difficulty. Such a system has been developed through the use of technology under which the street vendor friends will not have to stand in long queues to submit their papers. You can upload your application at the Common Service Centre, in the municipality office, or in a bank branch. Not only this, the officials of the bank and municipality can also visit you to take your applications. You use the facility which you find is useful to you. Attempt has been made to make this system very simple.

Friends, this is one such scheme in which you can get rid of interest altogether. In any case, there is a 7 percent rebate on interest under this scheme. But if you keep in mind some very small and basic things, then you will not even have to pay this. Like, if you repay the amount to the bank within a year, then you will get rebate in interest. Moreover, you will receive some money in your bank account as a reward in the form of cash back if you do digital transactions, like receiving and paying money through your mobile phone, paying the wholesaler and others with whom you do sale-purchase through mobile phone. That is the government will put some money in your account separately. In this way, your total savings will be more than the interest.

Moreover, if you take the loan for the second time, there will be even greater loan facilities. If for the first time, you got 10,000 rupees and your performance was satisfactory, and if you need 15,000 rupees the second time, you will get 15,000 rupees. Accordingly, it can be 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 rupees. And, at the outset, our Chaganlalji was saying that he wants to make it ten times to Rs. 100,000. I am overjoyed when I hear this.

Friends, there has been a rapid rise in the trend of digital transactions in the country during the last 3-4 years. In the Corona period, we are all realizing how important it is. Now customers avoid paying money in cash. They make payments directly through mobile phone. Therefore, our street vendor colleagues should not lag behind in these digital transactions, and you can do it. We saw that Kushwahaji had put QR code on his hand cart. Now even in the big malls also this (cash transactions) does not happen. Our poor person is ready to learn anything which is new. Therefore, we have made a new beginning with the help of banks and digital payment providers. Now the representatives of the banks and organizations will come to your address and your carts and will offer QR code. They will also brief you about its use. I appeal to my street vendor colleagues to do maximum transactions digitally and set a new example before the world.

Friends, we have also prepared a scheme to provide online platforms through the use of technology to our friends in catering business who are also known as street food vendors. Efforts are on to ensure that street food vendors are able to offer online delivery to their customers on the lines of big restaurants. And very soon, we will take it forward if you take the initiative. I am confident that the business of street vendors and hawkers will increase and so will be their earnings through these initiatives.

Friends, we are working expeditiously on another scheme related to street vendors. It will be ensured to make the lives of all those street vendors who are connected with the Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi scheme easier and they get basic amenities. We will see whether my street vendor brothers and sisters have gas connection under the Ujjwala scheme, whether they have electricity connection, whether they are linked to Ayushman Bharat Yojana, whether they are getting the benefit of 90 paise per day and one rupee a month insurance scheme, whether they have concrete roof over their heads, and the government will make concrete efforts to plug any shortcomings. Those who don’t have all these will be prioritized.

Friends, there has been talks about the poor many a time in our country, but the work that has been done for the poor in the last six years has been executed according to a plan, so that he is connected from one scheme to another, so that he is empowered to fight poverty and come out of poverty by defeating it. There have been several steps and initiatives in that direction, which was not done earlier. Every area, every sector where the poor-victim-exploited-deprived-Dalits-tribal was in hardship, the government schemes have come to his strength.

You recall, the poor of our country could not go to the doors of the banks for fear of paper work. Through the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, the bank accounts of over 40 crore poor and the lower middle class have been opened. Through these Jan-Dhan accounts, our poor people were connected with the banks and as a result he is getting cheaper loans and he has been freed from the shackles of moneylenders. It is through these bank accounts that the poor are getting houses without bribe and the farmers are getting direct benefit in their bank accounts. During the Corona crisis, about 31,000 crore rupees have been deposited in the Jan-Dhan accounts of over 20 crore sisters, and this has been made possible only through the Jan-Dhan Yojana. Similarly, over 94,000 crore rupees have been transferred directly in the bank accounts of over 10 crore farmers’ families.

Friends, our poor have made a new beginning by linking themselves with Jan-Dhan accounts and the banking system in these years. Very soon, our villages will also be connected with online markets on the lines of cities, and the world’s market will reach our villages. This time, the country has taken a pledge regarding this on August 15. All the villages of the country will be connected with optical fibre in the next 1,000 days. Every village, every house will have a faster internet. The benefits of the digital revolution will also reach the villages and the poor faster. Similarly, the country has started Digital Health Mission. Every national will get a health ID. All your information will be there safely. Through this ID, you will be able to take online appointment with your doctor and show all the health reports online. You see it like this. First, there was Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and then through Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana there is insurance protection, then free treatment worth five lakh rupees under the Ayushman Bharat, and now easy treatment will be provided through the Digital Health Mission.

Friends, it is the endeavour of the country to make the life of every national easier, every countryman becomes empowered and above all he is self-reliant. Recently, the government has launched a major scheme to provide better accommodation to friends like you in cities at an affordable rent. Through the One Country, One Ration Card scheme, you will be able to get your share of ration wherever you go in the country. Your right will accompany you wherever you go.

Friends, now that you are starting your business afresh, you will have to take some precautions. As long as there is no vaccine for Corona, its dangers will remain there. Therefore, you have to keep in mind your as well as your customers’ protection. Whether it is mask, cleaning of hands, cleanliness around you, or the distance of two yards, you don’t have to compromise with of these. Attempt also has to be made not to use the single use plastic. If you ensure maximum protection against Corona on your cart or pavement, the people’s trust will also increase and your business will also grow. You have to obey these rules and also request others to follow them. Once again, many congratulations and best wishes for your new beginning. With this expectation that you and your family remain healthy, your businesses prosper; lots of best wishes.

Thank you very much.