Andhra's Jagananna Thodu to shield vendors from loan sharks

Updated November 25, 2020

social social social social Andhra's Jagananna Thodu to shield vendors from loan sharks
Amaravati, Nov 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Jagananna Thodu on Wednesday, an interest-free loan scheme aimed at shielding small vendors and businessmen from loan sharks.

He deposited Rs 905 crore into the accounts of 9.05 lakh small traders.

Through this scheme, the government will lend Rs 1,000 crore in total to nearly 10 lakh eligible beneficiaries, footing up to Rs 100 crore in interest on behalf of the vendors.

"From now on small and petty vendors and artisans needn't approach private parties for loans and burden their lives by paying heavy interest," said Reddy.

AP government is implementing the scheme in collaboration with banks to improve the lives of small traders and vendors.

"Banks shall credit the loan amount of Rs 10,000 to beneficiaries' accounts within a week or 10 days. The beneficiaries will also be provided with QR-based smart identity cards," said an official statement.

If the beneficiaries repay the loan amount in the given timeline, the state government shall reimburse the interest once in every three months directly to their accounts, and further, they will be eligible to take the next loan.

He said all those small businessmen can take loans from banks under Jagananna Thodu scheme to cater to their working capital.

Reddy said he witnessed the plight of small vendors and artisans during his 3,648 km-long padayatra (marathon walkathon).

Vegetable vendors, fruit vendors, small shopkeepers, pushcart vendors and traditional artisans are eligible to apply for the scheme.

He praised vendors and small businessmen as people who cater to the needs of masses irrespective of adverse weather conditions by selling vegetables, flowers and others on the streets.

"Their absence not only puts our livelihood in jeopardy but also our economy," said the CM.

Since the vendors fall under the unorganised category, Reddy said banks do not provide loans to them, who eventually are compelled to take loans from private parties at exorbitant rates and get trapped in debts.

"The scheme will bring a change into the lives of small and petty vendors as the government is relieving them from paying heavy interests," he said.

In identifying the beneficiaries for Jagananna Thodu, volunteers and ward secretaries will play a role in zeroing in on the rightful beneficiaries, taking applications for arranging the loans.

In the event of any eligible person missing out in availing the scheme, they can still apply through volunteers for getting the benefit upon verification.

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