As part of the economic relief package to the Covid-hit, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday released Rs 2,000 subsidy each to over 2 lakh registered street vendors across the state under the Deendayal Antyodaya (national urban livelihood) scheme.
The scheme has been formulated under skill development, entrepreneurship and livelihood development.
"The subsidy is a gesture to thousands of street vendors whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic's second wave and the extended lockdown imposed since April 27 across the state to contain the virus spread," said the Chief Minister in a statement.
The state Social Welfare Department has identified 2,16,439 street vendors in a survey by the urban local bodies across the state.
"The vendors have been given an identity card, certificate and amenities to carry their business in their respective places," said Yediyurappa.
The subsidy amount is credited to the bank account of each vendor under the social security scheme.
"During the pandemic's first wave last year, the vendors were given Rs 10,000 each as microcredit under the Prime Minister Street Vendor's Atmanirbhar Nidhi scheme, which amounted to Rs 107.92 crore," said the statement.
Cumulatively, Rs 38.33 crore was credited into the bank accounts of 1,91,684 vendors through the direct benefit transfer mode during the first Covid wave, Yediyurappa said.
The state government has also directed banks not to adjust the subsidy to loans availed by the vendors for investing in their business.
As the pandemic devastated the life and livelihood of lakhs of people, the state government granted a Rs 1,700 crore relief package last year to daily wagers, construction workers, farmers, teachers, Asha workers, priests and others.
The Chief Minister has also directed the urban local bodies to vaccinate all street vendors on priority as they are prone to contracting the virus and spreading it.