Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012

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High lights:

  • The Bill aims to protect the livelihood rights of street vendors as well as regulate street vending through demarcation of vending zones, conditions for and restrictions on street vending.
  • Any person intending to undertake street vending needs to register with the Town Vending Committee (TVC).  He may then apply for a vending certificate that will be issued based on various criteria.  

  • The state government shall frame a scheme for street vendors.  The local authority shall, in consultation with the planning authority, frame a street vending plan once every five years.
  • The TVC comprises of the municipal commissioner, representatives of street vendors, local authority, planning authority, local police, resident welfare association and other traders associations. 
  • This Bill shall not apply to Railways land, premises and trains.
Key Issues and Analysis
  • Currently, street vending is regulated under municipal laws enacted by state legislatures. Parliament’s competence to legislate on this issue depends on whether the Bill is interpreted as substantively addressing rights and obligations of street vendors (Concurrent List) or relating to municipal zoning (State List). 
  • The Bill does not specify principles to be followed by governments in issuing vending certificates, allocating vending zones and the number of vendors per zone.  Absence of such norms could defeat the purpose of enacting a law to ensure uniformity in the legal framework. 
  • The Bill does not require the stakeholders to be consulted in the formulation of the street vending plan.  This could lead to a lack of safeguards in ensuring that plan is determined in a fair manner.  
  • The central law will have overriding effect on state laws that are inconsistent with the Bill.  Current state laws differ with the Bill in terms of powers of the TVC, and mechanism for dispute resolution.
  • The Standing Committee suggests making the Bill applicable to the Railways, incorporating specific provisions of the scheme in the Bill, and consultation with the TVC on the vending plan.

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