Focus: GS-II Governance, Social Justice
Why in news?
Housing and Urban Affairs has urged the concerned officials to sensitize all their subordinates towards the street vendors, in a meeting to review PM SVANidhi scheme.
- The MoHUA said “To a marginalized Street Vendor already battling to survive on a day to day basis, overturning his cart or asking for a bribe or any other form of harassment, is diabolically cruel.”
- Even in normal times the Street Vendors have a marginalized existence and their plight has been compounded with the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The minister stressed that the Street Vendors need to be provided with an enabling environment where they have a sense of protection from undue harassment / eviction.
- The minister emphasised that the role of police force and municipalities is important in overall protection of livelihoods of street vendors and creating a conducive environment and added that the vendors do not demand much, other than a place where they can vend their articles in a harassment free environment.
- The Ministry is also in the process of preparing a plan to capture socio-economic profile of all PM SVANidhi beneficiaries in order to facilitate their access to various government welfare schemes, as per their entitlements.
- Street vendors constitute up to 2% of the urban population and they contribute immensely to the informal economy.
- According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there are 10 million street vendors in India.
- In India, street vending makes up 14% of total (non-agricultural) urban informal employment.
- Though the prevalent license-permit raj in Indian bureaucracy ended for most retailing in the 1990s, it continues in Street Vending.
- Inappropriate license ceiling in most cities means more vendors hawk their goods illegally, which also makes them prone to the bribery and extortion culture under local police and municipal authorities, besides harassment, heavy fines and sudden evictions.
- Over the years the street vendors have organized themselves into trade unions and associations, and numerous NGO’s have started working for them.
- The National Hawker Federation (NHF), based all over India, is a federation of 1400 street vendor organizations, trade unions in 28 states.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is implementing the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) which has provision for creation of pro-vending infrastructure in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) through the Support to Urban Street Vendors (SUSV) component.
- The Street Vendors Act, 2014 was enacted for protection of livelihood rights, social security and regulation of urban street vending.
- PM SVANidhi, short for Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi, will help street vendors resume their businesses, impacted due to the nationwide lockdown.
- Vendors can avail of a working capital loan of up to ₹10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments over one year.
- On timely, or early repayment, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer every six months.
- There will be no penalty for early repayment of loans.
Who will be Benefitted by this scheme?
- Five million street vendors who were operating on or before 24 March are expected to benefit from the scheme, which will be available till March 2022.
- The scheme is applicable to vendors, hawkers, thelewalas, rehriwalas, and theliphadwalas supplying goods and services.
- Street vendors in peri-urban or rural areas will also be able to avail the benefits.
Implementation of PM SVANidhi
- Urban local bodies will be playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the scheme as the lending institutions under the scheme include, Regional Rural Banks, Scheduled Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, Small Finance Banks, Micro Finance Institutions, NBFCs, and Self-Help Groups.
- It is the first time that NBFCs/MFIs/SHG Banks have been allowed in a scheme for urban poor. The change is because of their ground-level presence and proximity to the urban poor including the street vendors.
- Also, for the fast implementation of the scheme for transparency, a digital platform with a mobile app and web portal has also been developed to administer the scheme with end to end solutions. This platform will also help in integrating the vendors in a formal financial system.
- The scheme will also incentivise digital transactions by the street vendors through monthly cashback.
Street Vendors Act, 2014
Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 is an Act of the Parliament of India to regulate street vendors in public areas and protect their rights.
- Town Vending Committee will be responsible for conducting of survey of all the vendors under its jurisdiction, and such survey must be conducted every five years. No street vendor will be evicted until such survey has been made and a certificate of vending has been issued.
- All street vendors will be accommodated in a designated vending zone. In case, all the vendors cannot be accommodated in the same vending zone, allocation of space will be made by drawing of lots. However, those who fail to get space in the same vending zone, will be accommodated in adjoining vending zones.
- All street vendors above fourteen years of age will be granted a certificate of vending. However, such certificates will be granted only if the person gives an undertaking that he will carry out his business by himself or through the help of his family members, he has no other means of livelihood and he will not transfer the certificate. However, the certificate can be transferred to one of his family members if such vendor dies or suffers from permanent disability.
- The certificate may be cancelled if the vendor breaches the conditions of the certificate.
- No vendor will be allowed to carry out vending activities in no-vending zones.
- In case of declaration of a specified area as a no-vending zone, the vendors will be relocated to another area. However, such street vendors must be given a notice of at least 30 days for relocation.
- There shall be a dispute resolution body consisting of a Chairperson who has been a civil judge or a judicial magistrate and two other professionals as prescribed by the appropriate government.