Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the PM Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, meant for extending collateral-free loans up to Rs 10,000 each to street vendors, but named it after himself, drawing flak from the BJP.
The Chief Minister renamed the Central Sector Scheme, fully-funded by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, after himself as 'Jagananna Todu', claiming that the Andhra Pradesh government would bear the full interest on the loans.
Slamming the Chief Minister over this, the state BJP pointed out that Jagan Mohan Reddy has usurped one more Central scheme and affixed his own name to it.
"PM SVANidhi has been brought in as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package post-Covid-19. It is shameful that the Chief Minister has changed the schemes name," BJP state general secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy said in a statement.
Under PM SVANidhi, the vendors availing of loans are eligible to get an interest subsidy of seven per cent.
The Andhra Pradesh government, however, made it a zero interest scheme, saying the interest amount would be reimbursed every quarter and credited into the borrowers account.
The Centre introduced the PM SVANidhi as a special micro-credit facility for street vendors to help them resume their businesses after the COVID-19 Unlock.
The Government of India has appointed three senior IAS officers - Sumita Dawra, S Suresh Kumar and Saurabh Gaur - as Central Nodal Officers to monitor the effective implementation of PM SVANidhi.
Launching the scheme through a video conference with some of the beneficiaries, the Chief Minister said street vendors had a crucial share in the economy, but were so far forced to depend on private moneylenders for working capital needs.
"The street vendors are in the unorganised sector and have no access to institutional credit. The private lenders charged 3, 4 or even 10 per cent interest. We wanted to usher in a change in their lives by offering them institutional credit," Jagan Mohan Reddy said.
In the first phase 9.05 lakh street vendors in the state would be given Rs 905 crore as interest-free loan, he said.
"If you repay the loan promptly, the banks will extend fresh credit, even higher amounts," the Chief Minister added.
He assured that no eligible vendor would be left out of the scheme and the application process would continue for one or two more months.
Ministers PRC Reddy, Botsa Satyanarayana, A Suresh, M Sankara Narayana and officials took part in the event.
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