VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday deposited Rs 370 crore to 3.7 lakh small traders towards interest-free loans under the Jagananna Thodu scheme.
Speaking after launching the scheme on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said that the small and petty vendors, artisans need not approach private parties for loans and burden their lives by paying heavy interest, as they can take loans from banks under Jagananna Thodu scheme to cater to their working capital.
Although 9.05 lakh beneficiaries were identified from the scheme, in the phase-1, only Rs 535 crore was disbursed by the banks to 5.35 lakh beneficiaries, despite the government offering to pay the interest. As these vendors come under the unorganised sector, the banks do not provide loans and they end up approaching private parties for loans at high interest rates to run their businesses, and often fall into debts.
In order to resolve this, the State government has decided to extend financial assistance to remaining 3.7 lakh beneficiaries through Sthreenidhi Credit Cooperative federation and APCOB covering all the eligible beneficiaries by sanctioning loans in rural and urban areas, said the Chief Minister adding that Rs 49.77 crore is being borne by the government under the scheme towards paying interest.If they repay the loan on time, the government will reimburse the interest directly to the beneficiaries’ accounts, and further, they will be eligible to take the next loan, the Chief Minister said.
Vegetable vendors, fruit vendors, small shopkeepers, pushcart vendors and traditional artisans like those who are involved in making handicrafts, brass items, kalamkari, puppetry and others are eligible to apply for the scheme. If any eligible person is not covered, they can still apply through volunteers, and upon verification, they will be provided with the scheme benefits in a month or two. Also, they can call on the 1902 toll-free number to get themselves enrolled.Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said though the Rs 10,000 loan looks a small amount, it would be a major relief for small and petty vendors.