In a recent visit to Rameswaram, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the central government’s commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs and promoting financial inclusion through flagship schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) and the PMSVANidhi Se Samriddhi program.
Addressing a gathering at the Government Medical College in Virudhunagar district, Sitharaman emphasized the importance of identifying and reaching out to street vendors, particularly those left uncovered by existing schemes. She urged local authorities, media representatives, and the public to work together to ensure that every eligible street vendor benefits from the PMSVANidhi scheme.
The Finance Minister also elaborated on the PMMY, emphasizing its role in providing loans to aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs. She noted that under the scheme, women account for over 60% of beneficiaries, underscoring the government’s priority in supporting women-led enterprises.
Sitharaman reiterated the government’s focus on leveraging technology to eliminate intermediaries and ensure that financial assistance reaches beneficiaries directly. She recalled former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s concerns about the leakage of funds due to middlemen and highlighted the use of the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) Trinity to streamline financial transfers.
Under the JAM Trinity framework, individuals can open bank accounts linked to their Aadhaar cards, enabling direct transfer of financial assistance from the government. This system eliminates the need for intermediaries and ensures that the intended recipients receive the full amount of aid.
Sitharaman commended the success of the PMSVANidhi scheme, which provides loans to street vendors. She explained that the scheme’s unique feature is its progressive loan structure, where timely repayment leads to increased loan amounts. Additionally, QR codes are provided to beneficiaries, enabling them to receive digital payments directly.
The Finance Minister acknowledged the progress made in Virudhunagar district, one of the aspirational districts identified under the government’s initiative. She expressed her satisfaction with the identification of over 5,000 street vendors eligible for the PMSVANidhi scheme in the district alone.
Sitharaman emphasized the distinction between entitlement and empowerment. She explained that while entitlement ensures that beneficiaries are aware of available schemes, empowerment involves actively equipping individuals with the resources and knowledge to utilize those schemes effectively.
The Finance Minister encouraged the local community, media, and government officials to collaborate in identifying and empowering eligible street vendors. She reiterated the government’s commitment to fostering financial inclusion and supporting the growth of women-led enterprises.