Reiterating that street vendors are not encroachers, Union Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that they are self-employed and an essential part of India’s economic growth story.
"They are contributors in our collective dream of a ‘new India’ and the government is extending respect to them during the celebration of 75 years of India’s independence and Prime Minister Narendra Modi being their biggest supporter," Puri said.
The minister also assured the street vendors that his ministry will write to all states to set up grievance committees to look into their issues within a week.
Addressing the annual convention of the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), with the theme “From Encroachers to Self-Employed”, Puri said the street vendors are “part of the economic existence” and now lakhs of them have become micro-entrepreneurs after getting subsidised loan through the PM Svanidhi scheme.
“The theme of your convention is a big political message,” he said.
Puri added that the main purpose of the PM Svanidhi scheme is to ensure self-confidence, self-employment and self-respect of street vendors across the country, claiming the central government scheme as the fastest rolled out programme of government. He said as of 11 July, Rs 3,661 crore have been disbursed as micro-credits to over 30 lakh street vendors and the target of 50 lakh will be achieved soon.
He accepted that there has been the trend of municipal authorities troubling street vendors and the government is trying to address that problem by taking up the issue with the state governments.
Puri also assured street vendors from Delhi to take up their concerns with the Lieutenant Governor and the city’s police commissioner.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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