Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday announced the release of the third tranche of funds under the Jagananna Thodu scheme amounting to Rs. 510 crore. It will benefit around 5,10,462 self-employed traders, including street vendors, small shop owners, and artisans.
Self-employed traders were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 25 November 2020, the AP government had launched the Jagananna Thodu scheme to help them. Since then, the government has disbursed Rs. 1,416 core interest-free loans to around 14.16 lakh beneficiaries under the scheme. Apart from the loan, on 20 October 2021, the state government also deposited Rs. 16.36 crore, the amount of interest incurred on the loans.
On Monday, the Chief Minister once again reiterated that the main objective of the scheme is to free vendors from paying heavy interest on loans. Banks will provide loans to all eligible beneficiaries and the government will pay the interest on the loans to the banks by reimbursing it to the beneficiaries' accounts. "According to the data, 82% of these sectors across the country have been majorly affected. Vendors lost their source of income and were confronted with deprivation. There is a need to give back their livelihood and help them run their business smoothly," the CM said.
Calling these sectors essential service providers, Jagan added, "These businesses might not turn into big revenue earners but as a matter of fact, these small businesses provide great service in the state and to the government. Millions of such small business owners are self-employed. The help that the government is providing will push people to stand on their own two feet."