Parliamentary Panel Recommends Revisiting Of Ceiling On Street Vendors In Bid To Protect Their Livelihood

Parliamentary Panel Recommends Revisiting Of Ceiling On Street Vendors In Bid To Protect Their Livelihood

by Arun Kumar Das - Saturday, August 7, 2021 11:20 AM IST
Parliamentary Panel Recommends Revisiting Of Ceiling On Street Vendors In Bid To Protect Their LivelihoodStreet vendors in Delhi.
Snapshot
  • Currently, the ceiling is 2.5 per cent of the population of the city, town, zone or ward.

A parliamentary panel has asked the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to explore the possibility of revisiting the ceiling on the number of street vendors, which is currently 2.5 per cent of the population of the city, town, zone or ward.

The committee has said this ceiling is “grossly inadequate” in thickly populated cities such as Delhi and Mumbai.

Besides, the panel has observed that several states have not carried out vendor surveys and formed town vending committees even after seven years of Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

The Standing Committee on Urban Development, which presented its report in Lok Sabha on Friday, sought to know the reason for the delay and recommended taking up of the issue at the highest level.

The Standing Committee on Urban Development, headed by BJP MP Jagdambika Pal, has observed that even after seven years of enactment of the Act to protect the livelihood of street vendors, several states have not carried out vendor surveys, formed town vending committees (TVCs) and notified vendors’ zone or market which are essential for the implementation of the Central law.

The panel has also sought the reasons for the delay and had recommended taking up of the issue at the highest level and preventing eviction of street vendors without formation of and consultation of TVCs.

It has asked the government to sensitise police forces and civic officials to prevent their exploitation. It said the primary purpose of the Act is to prevent any exploitation at the hands of police.

The report highlighting the lapses in the implementation of the Act comes at a time when the Centre has rolled out a scheme to provide subsidised loans of Rs 10,000 to each street vendor for reviving their livelihood.

As of 30 July, 43.3 lakh street vendors have applied for the loan, out of which 25.3 lakh loans have been sanctioned. The banks have disbursed loans to 22.8 lakh street vendors thus far.

The committee has also recommended developing of ‘Model Vending Zones’ or ‘Vendor Markets’ on the lines of Indore’s Food Street and Chennai’s Pondy Bazaar as “light house projects” for replication by other states.

It also said the location of vending zones and markets may be developed in vacant spaces adjacent to parks and community centres.

The committee said vending zones should be developed in vacant spaces adjacent to parks and community centres in order to address the issue of location of such zones and markets far away from residential areas.

"With a view to avoiding issuing multiple cards and vending certificates, the committee suggested issue of smart cards to vendors," the report said.
It also said the MoHUA must take up the publication of street vendor charter by all states and Union territories to ensure transparency.

"Social audits are crucial for successful implementation of any social sector scheme, and the committee thus recommends maintenance of a database on conduct or otherwise of social audit by states/UTs under the provision of the Act," it also stated.

The committee recommended that MoHUA encourage states to declare Natural Markets and also maintain a centralised database of the same.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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