People in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Indore and Varanasi will be soon able order food from street vendors and get it delivered at their doorsteps as the Central government has joined hands with food aggregator Swiggy to take these small businesses online.
According to a statement for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), this initiative has been launched in these five cities on a pilot basis by on-boarding 250 street food vendors and later, it will be rolled out in other parts of the country.
"As a part of Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has entered into an MoU with Swiggy, the leading food ordering and delivery platform in India, to onboard street food vendors on its ecommerce platform, giving them online access to thousands of consumers and help these vendors grow their businesses," MoHUA said in statement.
A MoU was exchanged by Joint Secretary Sanjay Kumar and Swiggy chief financial officer Rahul Bothra through a webinar in the presence of Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra. Municipal commissioners of Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, and Varanasi also participated through videoconferencing, the ministry said in a statement.
"During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where physical distancing is the key to check it’s spread, this novel initiative aims to radically transform the business of Street Vendors across cities, by facilitating them to receive orders and serve customers using online mode of business. In a first of its kind initiative, MoHUA has coordinated with the key stakeholders including Municipal Corporations, fssai, Swiggy and GST officials to ensure that necessary prerequisites are completed for this initiative," the statement said.
Upon the successful completion of the pilot, the ministry and Swiggy plan to expand this initiative across the country in phases, according to the statement. This partnership is seen as yet another move by the MoHUA to empower street vendors with digital technology and facilitate greater income-earning opportunities by being present on a popular online food delivery platform like Swiggy, the statement said.
Under PM SVANidhi scheme, a special micro-credit scheme for providing affordable loan of up to Rs 10,000 to such people, which is repayable in monthly instalments within one year. This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before March 24 this year in urban areas, including those from surrounding peri-urban and rural areas.