1.Q: Why the need for a Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 , which has been passed by the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded session. ?
Ans: Street vendors constitute an integral part of our urban economy. Street vending is not only a source of self-employment to the poor in cities and towns but also a means to provide ˜affordable™ as well as ˜convenient™ services to a majority of the urban population, especially the common man. Street vendors are often those who are unable to get regular jobs in the remunerative formal sector and they try to solve their livelihood issues through their own meagre financial resources and sweat equity.
Considering the significant contribution made by street vendors to the urban society as a whole, more specifically to the comparatively poorer sections, and to enable them to earn a decent livelihood through creation of conditions for decent work, the Government of India proposed a Bill, which provides for protection of livelihood rights and provision for social security of street vendors in the country.
2.Q: What are main provisions of the Bill?
Ans: The Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and provides that no street vendor shall be evicted or relocated, till the survey is completed and a certificate of vending issued to all street vendors. Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.
3.Q: Does the Bill protect the street vendors from the harassment by police and municipal authorities?
Ans: Yes the Bill provides for a specific section protecting the street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities. A clause in the Bill specifically provides for the following:
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no street vendor who carries on the street vending activities in accordance with the terms and conditions of his certificate of vending shall be prevented from exercising such rights by any person or police or any other authority exercising powers under any other law for the time being in force
4.Q: The implementing Authority is the Town Vending Committee. Is there a grievance redressal mechanism to hear appeals from the decisions of the Town Vending Committee, for e.g. if a street vendor is denied a certificate of vending, where does he go?
Ans: The Bill provides for a non-judicial grievance redressal mechanism. In respect of decisions of the Town Vending Committee refusing to issue a certificate of vending to a street vendor or resorts to cancellation or suspension under the provisions of the law, the aggrieved street vendor may prefer an appeal to the local authority.
5.Q: The Bill is titled Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation) of Street Vending Bill. Does the Bill provide for responsibilities of street vendors towards the city?
Ans: Yes, the Bill provides for specific responsibilities and duties street vendors.
Street Vendors are required to maintain cleanliness and public hygiene in the vending zones and the adjoining areas, to maintain civic amenities and public property in the vending zone in good condition and not damage or destroy or cause any damage or destruction to the same, pay maintenance charges, not to vend in no-vending zones etc.
The Bill along with protecting the livelihood rights of street vendors also provides for suitable planning measures to ensure the right of commuters to move freely and use the roads without any impediment.
6.Q: Does the Bill protect the street vendors wares and belonging from damage, as many a times it is seen that the authorities just collect their belongings and the street vendors have to run around placed to ensure their release.
In case of perishable goods, if not returned in time they are destroyed and the street vendors suffers irreparable damage.
Ans: Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has been conscious of this difficulty faced by the street vendors. In fact in various representations that we received from the street vending community, they highlighted and express the need for specific provisions in regard to seizure and reclaiming of goods.
Seizure of goods has been provided as a last resort action by the local authorities, more so only after complying with a 30 days™ notice period to be issued by the local authority to the street vendor.
The Bill specifically provides that where seizure is carried out, a list of goods seized shall be prepared, and a copy thereof duly signed by the person authorized to seize the goods, shall be issued to the street vendor.
The street vendor thereafter has the right to reclaim him goods, after paying due fine.
It also provides that in case of non-perishable goods, the local authority shall release the goods within two working days of the claim being made by the street vendor, and in case of perishable goods the local authority shall release the goods on the same day of the claim being made by the street vendor.
The Bill thus adequately protects the street vendors in case of seizure of goods.