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Street vendors 'not allowed' to do business despite Modi's PM Svanidhi loan scheme

By Arbind Singh* 

Delhi has seen the worst forms of violations of human rights of street vendors, even after passage of Street Vendors Act 2014 and Distribution of 75,000 Certificate of Vending (COVs) to street vendors of Delhi.
Even after having a Law, there has been no change in the security of life and employment of the vendors, rather the situation has become even worse. There are cases of gross administrative disobedience towards the provisions of the Act and the scheme.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 was implemented for protection of livelihood of street vendors in view of right to life and employment under Section 19-1 (G) and 21 of the Constitution respectively.
The municipal authorities and police forces, continue to act in a feudal way, disregarding the law and related policies of the government. The Prime Minister launched PM SVanidhi, a credit scheme for street vendors, but it's sad that on one hand they get the loan and on the other hand they are regularly evicted and not allowed to the business. Vendors are beaten up if they don't give bribe to the police. They are slapped by municipal authorities when they don’t get money from them.
Delay in survey, non-issuance of certificate of vending/ recommendation letter and even after issuance, not giving respect to it is common. Vendors are being harassed due to regular evictions and fines by police and municipal bodies, without rehabilitating them in the vending zone and without any notice, in violation of Section 3.3 of the Act.
Therefore, on the occasion of the Human Rights Day (December 10), it is necessary that the government should ensure the following:
  • Encroachment should be defined and vendors should be excluded from this scope of encroachment in the light of Street Vending Act.
  • All the street vendors surveyed should be given certificates of sale and the vendors should not be harassed at any cost.
  • Vending zones should be identified as soon as possible and all the vendors approved by the Town Vending Committee (TVC) and obtained Certificate of Vending should be given place in the vending zone.
  • Regular meetings of the committee should be organized by forming an elected Town Vending Committee (TVC) in each municipal body. Minutes of the meetings should be shared with the street vendors’ members.
  • The list of vendors should be shared by the municipality with the police so that police harassment stops. On the decision of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, the Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MoHUA) vide letter (D.O. No: K-12017(30)/6/2020-UPA-II-UD-Part(1) dated 18 May 2021) to the Chief Secretaries all States are requested to instruct local municipal bodies to share the list of identified street vendors in the area with local police stations so that incidents of harassment against street vendors do not take place.
  • There should be social audit of implementation of Street Vendors Act 2014.
  • All government officials and responsible authorities should be trained on The Street Vendors Act 2014.
  • Government should speed up loan disbursement under PM SVanidhi Scheme
---
*National Coordinator, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI)

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