‘Badavara Bandhu’ scheme to counter ‘Meter Baddi’

Bengaluru: Minister for Cooperation Bandeppa Kashampur said that in order to protect street vendors from harassment of private money lenders and to reduce the menace of ‘Meter Baddi,’ the Government has planned to introduce ‘Badavara Bandhu’ (saviour of the poor) scheme to provide financial assistance to them.

The scheme provides interest-free daily loan scheme for footpath vendors, pushcart vendors and small businessmen.

After visiting the Yeshwantpur vegetable market, the Minister said that the private money lenders have been misusing the helplessness of street vendors. “Vendors have to pay a majority portion of their earnings for daily interest, prompting the Government to introduce the scheme to put an end to this menace,” he said.

The innovative scheme, brainchild of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, promises to be a big ticket initiative which could pay huge political dividends. The scheme offers interest-free loans up to Rs.10,000 as seed capital for street hawkers, pushcart vendors and small businessmen to prevent them from being fleeced by moneylenders.

Soon after the Minister spoke, Kumaraswamy reached out to the vendors via teleconference and sought their suggestions to free them from the clutches of greedy moneylenders who charge a hefty 10% interest a day on the loans they offer.

“The vendors need not repay the loan the same evening. The scheme allows them to repay it in small daily instalments of even Rs.100 unlike the ordeal they are facing from moneylenders who recover the loan with 10% interest the same evening,” Minister Kashampur explained.

The scheme will be launched formally in a fortnight in Bengaluru and other major cities of the State. About 50,000 street vendors will be enrolled in the first phase and the scheme will cover about two lakh vendors across the State.