, 5:35 PM IST

The Association for Socio-Economic Empowerment of the Marginalised (ASEEM), on behalf of the street vendors has urged the Chief Minister to instruct the banks to honour their commitment and obligation to financial inclusion by issuing loans to street vendors under the Economic Support Scheme of TSMFC without insisting on Certificate of Vending (Trade licence) which the GHMC has failed to issue them till now in spite of Supreme Court order.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Thursday, ASEEM general secretary Syed Naqi Mehdi said both the Central and State governments have initiated several schemes under which street vendors and hawkers were eligible to apply for loans from banks under the Economic Support Scheme of the Telangana State Minority Finance Corporation (TSMFC) which provides 80% subsidy for a maximum Rs 1 lakh. But the banks were refusing to sanction loans to street vendors on the pretext that the applicants do not have a certificate of vending (trade licence) from the GHMC. He said the poor street vendors and hawkers were facing innumerable difficulties in availing of banking services, especially loans from Central and State government.

Syed Naqi Mehdi said several studies and surveys conducted by various NGOs and institutions have estimated that about two per cent of city population is engaged in street vending. There are over two lakh street vendors in Hyderabad alone and 70% of them belong to the minority community. Thus a substantial number would be deprived of benefits under the Economic Support Scheme of the TSMFC for no fault of theirs. Even as GHMC elections are being held on February 2, none of the contesting candidates of all political parties are keeping silent on the issue of lakhs of street vendors.

The ASEEM leader urged the Chief Minister to direct the banks to waive the requirement of producing quotations and allow the street vendors to draw cash as they purchase material from different wholesalers. He also demanded that the GHMC complete the survey of street vendors, earmark vending zones and issue Certificates of Vending in a time-bound manner. (NSS)