How Jagananna Thodu zero-interest loan scheme for small traders works
The second instalment of the Jagananna Thodu scheme was announced by the Andhra Pradesh government on 8th June. Around 3.7 lakh small traders and artisans granted an interest-free loan of Rs 10,000 each with the help of this scheme. The scheme launched by the government is meant for self-employed traders, including street vendors, small shop owners and artisans, who often find it difficult to secure small loans from banks and are forced to borrow from moneylenders at a very high-interest rate towards their working capital.
9.05 lakh small traders were identified as eligible beneficiaries last year, but only 5.35 lakh beneficiaries received the loan amount of Rs 535 crore by the banks in the first phase. The second phase was launched on 8th June, in which the remaining 3.7 lakh beneficiaries received the loan amount of Rs 370 crore. The interest on this loan will be borne by and submitted by the government.
Who can benefit from the scheme?
Jagananna Thodu is an extended version of the PM SVANidhi scheme (PM Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi); it provides a similar working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000 to street vendors. The scheme has been extended beyond street vendors to also include small shop owners as well as people engaged in traditional handicrafts like lacework, kalamkari, Etikoppaka toys, Kondapalli toys, leather puppets, potters, Bobbili Veena, brass craft articles, etc.
There are few rules for availing of this scheme. The beneficiaries must have a monthly income of less than Rs 10,000 (rural) or Rs 12,000 (urban), cannot have a shop larger than 5×5 sqft, and their family’s landholding should be under 3 acres of irrigated land or 10 acres of irrigated/unirrigated land to avail this scheme.