Govt proposes scheme for street vendors: Selja
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Last Updated: Friday, December 23, 2011, 22:11
New Delhi: Observing that "governments at all levels" have failed to provide a congenial and harassment- free environment to street vendors, Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja today said the Centre has proposed a scheme in the 12th Five Year Plan to facilitate street vending.

Addressing a workshop on National Consultation on Central Law on Street Vending, Selja underlined that street vending provides a source of self-employment and is a measure to check urban poverty.

Noting the importance of enabling street vendors to pursue their livelihood in congenial and harassment-free atmosphere, she said, "I am constrained to observe that the governments at all levels have failed to provide such an atmosphere to them to conduct their business."

The street vendors have a constitutional right to pursue their occupation without any detriment to the interests of general public, she said. For uplifting of street vendors, Selja said, the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry had brought out a National Policy on Urban Street Vendors in 2009.

"The policy recognises that practising any profession or pursuing any occupation, trade or business is a right of every citizen and it cannot be denied to street vendors," she said, adding that they face problems as the cities don't have designated space for street vending or hawking.

The policy also advocates that the local authorities promote week-end markets and night bazaars in public grounds, parade grounds or areas meant for religious festivals to facilitate street vending.

On the proposed scheme in 12th Five Year Plan, she said, "It proposes to support development of vendor markets and vending zones, conducting survey and demarcation of vending spaces, provision of amenities, registration of street vendors, credit access and skills training."

Meanwhile, national coordinator of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) Arbind Singh said the proposed law should override the existing legislations such as the Municipal Acts, Police Acts and Indian Railways Act which are "adversely" impacting the street vendors. Maintaining that the central law must be comprehensive and effective in ensuring a secured and dignified livelihood to street vendors, he pitched for strengthening and protecting weekly markets, robust grievance redressal mechanism and provisions of financial inclusion of street vendors.


First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011, 21:52

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