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Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) Act, 2014

Why is it in the news?

  • A decade after its enactment, the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 continues to strive for the protection of street vendors’ rights and the regulation of their activities in urban areas.

Key Provisions of the Act

  • Each Local Authority is mandated to set up Town Vending Committees to oversee and regulate street vending activities in urban areas.
  • Street vendors are to be surveyed at least once every five years to identify them and issue Certificates of Vending to those recognized.
  • A ceiling limit of 2.5% of the population in a respective area is set to accommodate street vendors, ensuring a balance between vending activities and urban population density.

Challenges in Functioning

  • Despite regulations, there’s a rise in harassment and evictions of street vendors, indicating challenges in implementation and enforcement.
  • Street vendors are often excluded as stakeholders in city planning processes, leading to a lack of consultation in formulating street vending plans, undermining their rights and interests.
  • There exists a social stigma around street vendors, viewing them as obstacles to urban development rather than contributors to the urban economy, perpetuating discrimination and marginalization.

Way Forward

  • Police and local body officials should be sensitized to avoid excessive actions against street vendors, ensuring fair treatment and protection of their rights.
  • Street vending activities should be adequately represented and integrated into urban planning processes, ensuring their participation in decision-making and recognition of their contribution to the urban economy.
  • The ceiling on the number of vendors should be revisited and revised in line with the population dynamics of the city, ensuring a fair and proportionate allocation of vending spaces while addressing the needs of both vendors and the urban population.

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