States’ implementation of Street Vendors Act tardy: CCS

New Delhi: States have a mixed record in implementing the Street Vendors Act with Andhra Pradesh topping the list and Assam standing at the bottom. Even six years after the passing of the Act, eight states are yet to notify either rules or schemes, says ‘Progress Report 2020 on Implementing the Street Vendors Act’, released by leading think tank Centre for Civil Society (CCS). This report has been drafted in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

Think Tank, Centre for Civil Society in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs released ‘Progress Report 2020 on Implementing the Street Vendor Act’

An online panel discussion ‘Atmanirbharta: Protecting Vendor Livelihoods in the wake of COVID-19’ was also organized after the launch of the report. The panelists included Indira Unninayar (Advocate, Supreme Court), Manoj Mehra (General Secretary-Delhi, National Hawkers Federation), and Prashant Narang (Associate Director, CCS).

Andhra Pradesh tops the index with 100 best performing urban local bodies (ULBs). 

Releasing the 3rd edition of ‘Progress Report 2020 on Implementing the Street Vendors Act’, Advocate Prashant Narang of CCS said, “state rules and schemes have created several artificial entry barriers for vendors. Some states require vendors to show proof of domicile or voter ID cards. If voter ID cards are not required to open a shop, then why should it be required to become a vendor?”

Assam stands at the bottom.

“Even though the 2014 Act has been introduced to protect vendors, there is a deep-rooted bias in the public machinery and some courts against vendors”, said Advocate Indira Unninayar.

The report reveals that all 35 states have introduced provisions that either explicitly contravenes the Act or are ambiguous and vague. For instance, in Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, rules empower state governments to remove a member of the TVC. This mandate finds no mention in the parent Act. In Chhattisgarh and Manipur, the schemes lay down ambiguous grounds like ‘misbehavior’ for the suspension of vending certificates. Rajasthan and Meghalaya mandate vendors to maintain ‘service record books’ for TVCs to inspect at any time. These provisions are not mentioned in the parent Act, the Report points out.