Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gujarat government "not aware" of any schemes which may help small entrepreneurs like tea vendors

By Our Representative
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi may be continuing with his Chai pe charcha talk show through video conferencing across the country ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in order to capitalize his “image” as a tea seller during his early days. But, if a Right to Information (RTI) application reply is any indication, the Gujarat government has no specific plans for the petty entrepreneurs who, for instance, may be seeking to eke a living out of their roadside “enterprise” of selling tea, as tea vendors.
In reply to an RTI application filed by senior activist of Navsarjan Trust, Kirit Rathod, wanting to know whether the government has any scheme for such petty entrepreneurs, the Gujarat government replied that it was “not aware of it”, nor does it have any specific scheme to offer them, hence “the question of providing information about the type of help the state government has been offering these type of vendors does not arise.”
Rathod says, “It seems that there is more interest in ensuring that a tea seller becomes the Prime Minister of India, but there is little interest in the officialdom about the plight of the small tea vendors, on whom poor families depend. It is most unfortunate that the general administration department (GAD), which operates directly under the chief minister, is not aware of any scheme for such petty vendors.”
Rathod, who filed his RTI application on February 13, 2014, wanted to know through his application whether the Gujarat government has been implementing any schemes for such petty entrepreneurs like roadside vendors, whether it has put in practice any schemes in order to encourage the vendors such as these to further improve their livelihood option. If yes, the application said, the government should provide details of these schemes.
Rathod further said, he wished to know if the government had worked out any schemes in order to “rehabilitate” the roadside vendors who may be selling tea, whether the state government has spent any amount for it, and if yes, then financial details about these schemes should be provided. He added, “I would also like to know whether the government has carried out any survey of the petty entrepreneurs surviving by doing such job like vending tea.

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