NEW DELHI: A Bill to protect the rights of urban street vendors- including against harassment by the police and other authorities- as well as to regulate street vending activities was today moved for discussion and passage in the Lok Sabha.
Moving for discussion and passage the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, in the Lok Sabha, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Girija Vyas said it seeks to protect the rights of urban street vendors from harassment by the police, municipal authorities and others.
The Bill, which has already been cleared by the Standing Committee, is also aimed at regulating street vending activities.
“At present around 2 per cent of the population is involved in street vending activity and this figure is likely to reach 2.5 per cent in a few years,” she said, adding the proposed legislation will allow them to earn their livelihood without fear.
The Bill provides for security and protection of livelihood to all street vendors having a vending certificate to be issued by the Town Vending Committee.
Vyas said police and other authorities cannot remove a street vendor who has the certificate. She said those markets, which have been functional for more than 50 years, will be considered natural markets and vendors located there will be protected. The minister said states and the Centre will have to work together to make the Act a success.
Shailendra Kumar (SP) said street vendors mostly belong to OBC and the minority community and also involves unorganised labour. He said in Mumbai there are around five lakh street vendors yet only around 18,000 of them have been given licenses. He demanded the new law should ensure that vendors are allowed to set up shops in or near main markets.
Shailendra Kumar further said the Bill seeks to reduce the fine on street vendors from Rs 1,000 at present to Rs 250 but it would be good if it is reduced further. He lamented that banks do not provide loans to street vendors and they end up being exploited by money lenders.
He said government should see to it that there is no child labour in street vending business.
Supporting the Bill, Jayaprakash Hegde (Cong) said railway vendors, who have been excluded from the Bill, should be brought under it.
He expressed concern over the unhygienic food served by street vendors and said this needs to be looked into.
Anant Geete ( Shiv Sena) said he supports the Bill which seeks to provide security and protection to the street vendors.
The debate will continue in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.