PM-SVANidhi Yojana in Mumbai
Today India is daring to dream big and fulfill those dreams for the first time after independence. Otherwise, a long period of the last century was spent only in discussing poverty, asking for help from the world, and making ends meet somehow. This is also happening for the first time in the history of independent India, when the world too has reposed faith in India’s big resolutions. Therefore, as much as Indians have the eagerness to build a developed India in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence, the same optimism is visible in the world as well.
If there is so much positivity in the world about India today, it is because everyone feels that India is utilizing its potential very well. Today everyone realizes that India is doing what is necessary for rapid development and prosperity. Today India is full of unprecedented confidence. With the inspiration of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the spirit of ‘Swaraj’ (self-rule) and ‘Suraj’ (good governance) is strongly manifested in today’s India as well as in the double engine governments.
Brothers and sisters,
We have seen those times when the money meant for the welfare of the poor was lost in scams. There was no sign of sensitivity regarding the tax collected from taxpayers. Crores of countrymen had to suffer a lot. We have changed this approach in the last eight years. Today India is spending on its physical and social infrastructure with futuristic thinking and modern approach. Today, while facilities like houses, toilets, electricity, water, cooking gas, free treatment, medical colleges, AIIMS, IITs, IIMs are being developed at a fast pace in the country, on the other hand, there is an equal emphasis on modern connectivity. The kind of modern infrastructure that was once imagined, today such infrastructure is being developed in the country.
In short, work is going on simultaneously on the requirements of the country today as well as the possibilities of prosperity in the future. The major economies of the world are in distress today, but even in such difficult times, India keeps the stove of every house burning by giving free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen. Even in such an environment, India is making unprecedented investments in building infrastructure. It shows the commitment of today’s India, a reflection of our resolve for a developed India.
Brothers and sisters,
Today we are working on the complete transformation of the cities of the country. Solutions are being found for every problem of the cities from pollution to cleanliness. That’s why we are laying so much emphasis on electric mobility and creating infrastructure for it. We want to bring a biofuel based transport system fast. Work in mission mode is also going on in the country for the transport system involving hydrogen fuel. Not only this, we are also taking continuous steps to get rid of the problem of garbage and waste in our cities with the help of new technology. A huge campaign of Waste to Wealth is going on in the country. Water treatment plants are being set up so that dirty water does not enter the rivers.
There is no dearth of power and political will in the country for the development of cities. But we have to understand one important thing. In a city like Mumbai, projects cannot be taken up quickly unless the local body also prioritizes speedy development. When there is a dedicated government for development in the state, when there is a dedicated government for good governance in the cities, only then these works can be implemented faster.
Therefore, the role of the local body in the development of Mumbai is very important. There is no dearth of budget for the development of Mumbai. The rightful money of Mumbai should be spent at the right place. How will the future of Mumbai be bright if the money is spent in corruption, or is locked in the vaults of banks and there is a tendency to stop the work of development? If the common people of Mumbai continue to suffer and this city continues to yearn for development, this situation can never be acceptable in 21st century India and can never happen in Shivaji Maharaj’s Maharashtra. Understanding every problem of the people of Mumbai, I am stating this with great responsibility. The BJP government or the NDA government never lets politics dominate development. Development is our biggest priority. The BJP and NDA governments never put brakes on development works for their political interests. But we have seen this happening time and again in Mumbai in the past.
The PM SVANidhi Yojana is also an example of this. For the first time, we launched a scheme for the street vendors who are an important part of the city’s economy. We ensured cheap and collateral-free loans from banks for these small traders. About 35 lakh street vendors across the country have got its benefits. Under this scheme, loans have been sanctioned to five lakh associates in Maharashtra as well. Even today, money has been directly deposited in the bank accounts of more than one lakh friends. This should have been done long ago. But in the intervening time, obstacles were created in every work due to the absence of the double engine government. As a result, all these beneficiaries had to suffer. In order to ensure that this should not happen again, it is necessary that efforts should be made by everyone from Delhi to Maharashtra and Mumbai and there should be a better coordinated system.
We have to keep in mind that the SVANidhi Yojana is not just a scheme to give loans, but it is a campaign to boost the economic power of our fellow street vendors. This SVANidhi is all about self-respect. I have been told that 325 camps have been organized in Mumbai for training the SVANidhi beneficiaries in digital transactions. As a result, thousands of our street vendors have started digital transactions. Many people will be shocked to know that the beneficiaries of the SVANidhi Yojana across the country have done digital transactions worth about Rs 50,000 crore in such a short time. Those whom we consider illiterate, whom we keep humiliating, those friends of mine who are sitting in front of me today, have done online transactions worth 50,000 crore rupees through their mobile phones. This feat and change is a big answer to the pessimists, who used to question the success of digital payments by street vendors.
The success of Digital India is an example that nothing is impossible if there is involvement of everyone’s efforts. Together with this spirit of ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort), we will take Mumbai to a new height of development. Today I want to tell my street vendor brothers to walk with me. If you take 10 steps, I will take 11 steps for you. I am saying this because earlier our street vendor brothers and sisters used to go to moneylenders who would lend money with interest. If anybody required one thousand rupees to do business for a day, the moneylender would deduct 100 rupees in advance and would give him only 900 rupees. And if he did not return one thousand rupees by the evening, then he would not get the money the next day. And if he could not sell his goods on some days and failed to pay back one thousand rupees, there would be an additional burden of interest on him. His children were forced to sleep hungry at night. The SVANidhi Yojana is there to protect you from all these troubles.
You should use more digital transactions. When you go to buy goods in bulk, make digital payments for it. You also tell your buyers to make digital payments. If you do it consistently, then you will not be charged a single penny of interest. You can imagine how much money you will save for your children’s education and their future. That’s why I say, friends, I am standing with you, you walk 10 steps, I am ready to walk 11 steps. This is my promise. Friends, today I have come to the land of Mumbai to make this promise to you for your bright future. And I am sure that with the effort and hard work of these people, the country will scale new heights.
(Excerpts of Prime Minister’s speech on January 19 at Mumbai)