Manipur government on Tuesday distributed working capital loans to 817 women vendors of different districts.

This has been done in a move to support the vendors in resuming their vending activities which have been affected by the ensuing lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID 19 pandemic.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh were present during the loan distribution function held here as per the standard operating procedures of the lockdown.

Six ministers, MLAs besides few officials were present during the event held at Chief Minister’s bungalow in Imphal wherein CM N Biren Singh and Deputy CM Joykumar handed over the loans amounts to the beneficiaries.

According to the official sources available here, 368 street vendors were benefited under the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) which launched on June 15, 2020, is a special micro-credit scheme for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been affected due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Under this scheme, the street vendors,, can avail working capital loan of up to 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments within the tenure of one year.

On the other 449 regular licensed vendors including 14 from the hills’ districts were provided assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) – SHISHU which was on April 8, 2015, for providing loans to non-farm small micro-enterprises, in the day’s function. The amount of loan disbursed ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1,50,000.

Meanwhile speaking on the occasion Chief Minister N Biren informed that loans would be provided to a total of around 20,000 vendors of the State.

He also observed that the state is comparatively better in COVID-19 situation when compared with other States due to the timely decision taken by women vendors to close the three iconic Ima Keithels (mother’s market).

He said that he visited Ima Keithel on March 19, 2020, and discussed with women vendors about the gravity of the situation, upon which they readily agreed to close the markets from the next day.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com