'Not an income tax officer but asking…' PM Modi interacts with SVANidhi scheme beneficiaries

Prime Minister on Tuesday interacted with the beneficiaries of SVANidhi scheme of Agra, Varanasi, Lucknow and asked about the well-being of the vendors who received up to Rs 10,000 working capital at subsidised rates under the scheme.

“How are your business going?” “How many officers did you have to visit to get this loan?” “How much are you earning daily now?” PM Modi asked the vendors and added on a lighter note, “ Though I should not be asking this question… I am not an income tax officer.”

Talking to a momo vendor of Varanasi, PM Modi said, “I have heard momos have become popular in Varanasi. But no one has offered me momos.”

Also Read: PM Modi to virtually distribute loans to 300,000 street vendors under PM SVANidhi Scheme today

The prime minister also asked the beneficiaries whether they are aware that they can make this loan interest free. As he was interacting with the vendors, he inquired about social-distancing guidelines being maintained at their stalls.

“Our vendor brothers and sisters have suffered a lot during lockdown. Now it’s our duty to empower them. There was a time when even salaried people had to run from pillar to post to get a loan. Poor people didn’t even have the courage to walk into a bank. But now the bank has come to them. This would not have been possible without the tireless effort of the banks,” PM Modi said.

Also Read: PM SVANidhi scheme for street vendors: Benefits, loan amount, tenure

Over 24 lakh applications have been received under this scheme so far, with 557,000 applications from vendors in Uttar Pradesh, the highest across the country. As many as 3.27 lakh applications from UP have been approved and loan of 1.87 lakh has been disbursed. Out of the total applications, 12 lakh have been approved and loans worth about 5.35 lakh have been disbursed. PM SVANidhi Scheme was launched on June 1, 2020 for poor people selling goods on roads and tracks, who were affected due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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