Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Street Vendors bill : A Bill For 'Teen Ka Ek Ya Paanch Ke Do

The first thing which strikes one’s mind when we think of street vendors is that they are mobile & don’t have fixed position where we can find them again. Comprising mainly poor people, street vendors are subjected to constant harassment by local government bodies. What makes the situation worse is that they are politically unorganized & hence can’t fight back. Therefore, government on 6 September 2013, passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 in order to protect the rights of the street vendors in urban areas Street Vendors bill .

Facts about bill

1. Town Vending Committee (TVC) ,comprising officials and non-officials (40% of it from vendors) by election (having 1/3rd reservation for women) will be formed which will implement the provisions of the bill.
2. The TVC comprises of the municipal commissioner, representatives of street vendors, local authority, planning authority, local police, resident welfare association and other traders associations.
3. A vendor has to register with TVC, after which he will be issued with a certificate for a particular area for particular period.
4. Decisions relating to street vending activities like deciding natural market, finding vending zones etc. will be looked into by TVC.
5. Any vending area will comprise maximum of 2.5% vendors to total population.
6. TVC will revise its plan every 5 years.
7. This Bill shall not apply to Railways land, premises and trains.


  • Street vendors are from that class which doesn’t get jobs in formal sector due to low level of education & skill. According to V. V. Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA, age-wise distribution of household of vendors reveals that the age group below 14 constituted 28.2% and that of 15-60 years constituted 69.7% of population.
  • One-third of the vendor household’s fall in the income range of Rs. 3001-5000., 2/3rd in range of 3001- 7000. Total family members are doing vending job as family business.

Analysis : Whether this legislation will help the 

According to National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), the bill has serious shortfalls which need immediate attention. Following are the flaws they mentioned:-

1. “Concentrated too much power” with local municipal bodies.
2. Local bodies will create schemes for street vendors which won’t have right to go against them if they found it useless.
3. Final authority on issues like identification, registration and licensing of street vendors, identification of natural markets and allocation of space based on the idea of natural markets will be of local authority and not of TVC.
4. Bill shows fewer quanta of resettlement and rehabilitation solutions in case of land acquisition.
5. No clear cut principles laid down on how to issue vending certificates, allocation of vending zones, etc.
6. Bill is not all negative; indeed it has lots of motive provisions which will prevent the day-to-day harassment of street vendors.
7. This bill will provide for the first time vendors a say in their problems & the solutions related to it.


  • Among a list of amendments NASVI will campaign for, include provisions for
  • those on railway premises who have been left out of the scope of the proposed law,
  • incorporation of principles of natural markets as central to the determination of vending zones,
  • prescription of minimum quantitative norms for a number of street vendors to be accommodated and
  • allocation of a minimum percentage of public land for street vending.


Given the pace of urbanization and the opportunities presented, the growth of street vendors’ population is likely to have an upward trend. Dr. Girija Vyas, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, said “ It is vital that these vendors are enabled to pursue their livelihoods in a congenial and harassment free atmosphere. Inclusive growth strategy adopted by the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans calls for a facilitating mechanism for street vending to aid economic growth and inclusion simultaneously".


1.  Analyze and Comment - “Street Vendors Bill, 2012 will lead to more inclusive growth”.
2. Enlist and examine the highlights of Street Vendors Bill, 2012 keeping in view the present situation of vendors before the bill.
3. Critically analyze the Town Vending Committee mention in the new Street Vendors Bill, 2012. 

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