Aiming at providing online access to thousands of street food vendors and consumers, the government has joined hands with Zomato, one of the largest online platforms for ordering and delivery of food in India, to onboard street food vendors on its food-tech platform as part of Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has signed the MoU with Zomato and the initiative is expected to help these vendors grow their businesses.

The MoU with Zomato was exchanged between the Ministry Joint Secretary Sanjay Kumar and Mohit Sardana, Chief Operating Officer, Zomato, in the presence of MoHUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra and officials from both sides.

State Mission Directors of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab and Municipal Commissioners of Bhopal, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Patna, Raipur, Vadodara also participated in the ceremony through video conferencing facility.

Covid-19 pandemic has restricted consumers from stepping out and forced them to follow physical distancing norms. In the given scenario it is important to connect Street Food Vendors with technology enabled platforms to help them grow their business, thus helping them gain financially.

In a first of its kind initiative, MoHUA entered into an MoU with Swiggy on 5 October 2020 and it is now joining hands with Zomato to empower Street Food Vendors with digital technology and facilitate greater income earning opportunities by being present on a popular food-tech platforms.

MoHUA has coordinated with the key stakeholders including Municipal Corporations, fssai, Zomato and GST officials to ensure that street food vendors are facilitated in completing the necessary prerequisites for this initiative.

Under the MoU, initially MoHUA and Zomato will run a pilot program by on-boarding 300 vendors across six cities namely – Bhopal, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Patna, Raipur, Vadodara. The street vendors will be helped with PAN and fssai registration, training on technology/ partner app usage, menu digitisation and pricing, hygiene and packaging best practices. Upon the successful completion of the pilot, MoHUA and Zomato plan to expand this initiative across the country in phases.

A mobile application under PMSVANidhi se Samriddhi was also launched to assist city officials to conduct door to door data collection.

The Ministry is implementing PM SVANidhi Scheme, since 1 June 2020, for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.

The scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before 24 March 2020 in urban areas, including surrounding peri-urban/ rural areas. Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a collateral free working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000, of one year tenure.

On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy at 7 per cent per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) on quarterly basis.

There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan. The Scheme promotes digital transactions through cash-back incentives up to an amount of Rs 1,200 per annum. Street Vendors can fulfil their aspiration of climbing up the economic ladder by availing the facility of enhanced credit limit on timely/ early repayment of loan.

As on 4 February 2020, over 36.40 lakh loan applications have been received under the PM SVANidhi Scheme. Out of these, over 18.80 lakh loans have been sanctioned and over 14.04 lakh loans disbursed, according to the Ministry.