AAP minister blame officials for delay in loans to Delhi vendors
A Delhi government scheme to provide easy loans of Rs 20,000 at low interest rates to street vendors is yet to start with social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam blaming the “lax attitude” of officials for the delay.delhi Updated: Mar 02, 2018 08:29 IST
A Delhi government scheme to provide easy loans of Rs 20,000 at low interest rates to street vendors is yet to start with social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam blaming the “lax attitude” of officials for the delay.
The move is aimed at protecting street vendors, considered to be the Aam Aadmi Party’s strong vote base, from unorganised loan sharks.
The government had said the scheme, announced in December last year and scheduled to be launched in January, was to make the process of granting loans to the vendors “hassle free” . The plan was to give loans to vendors, who have resided in Delhi for five years or more with just their residential address as proof.
At present, a majority of vendors in Delhi do not have proper shops because of which they were unable to get loans as they had to show papers related to the shop as proof.
Funds for this scheme were to be given through the Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Minority and Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (DSFDC), under the social welfare department. The government had also set aside an initial fund of Rs 2 crore for this purpose, which continues to lie unused.
Blaming the DSFDC officials for the delay, Gautam said that a five-member committee was appointed to simplify the terms of the scheme for its optimum impact but “no meeting was convened” for more than a month since the announcement was made in December last year.
“Several reminders were sent to the officials to convene the meeting and prepare the plan but to no avail. It was only last month when the meeting was held in this connection,” the minister said.
The managing director of DSFDC, Shiv Kumar, refused to comment on the allegations.
According to the scheme, a loan of Rs 20,000 is to be disbursed to street vendors under the ‘Delhi Swarojgar Yojna’ at an annual interest rate of 6%. Out of the loan amount of Rs 20,000, the government had to give Rs 10,000 as subsidy. The beneficiary was to pay the interest only on the remaining Rs 10,000.
Gautam, however, said that the proposal is now “almost ready”. “We will initiate the process to give loans to the beneficiaries soon. By the end of this month, camps will be set up across the city to distribute loans to the eligible vendors,” he said.
The minister said that initially 1,000 street vendors would be given easy loans and if needed, the scheme would be expanded.
Though data with the municipal corporations suggest there are around 1.25 lakh street vendors in the national capital, NGOs working in the field peg the number to be at least three lakh.