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Understanding the street vendors conundrum in the Online shopping era

Our Constitution of India have provided rights to any individual to carry on any profession of their choice.Article 19 (1)(g)to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business. At the same time , if any vendors illegally obstruct the payment that are meant for public for his commercial ends . Its violation those who are involved will be booked under the Indian Penal code section 283 specifically describes a “public nuisance” as “one which causes injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who live or occupy property in the vicinity”.

In Sodan Singh and Others versus New Delhi Municipal Council in 1989,the Supreme Court of India had ruled: “The right to carry on trade or business mentioned in Article 19 (1) g of the constitution, on street pavements, if properly regulated, cannot be denied on the ground that the streets are meant exclusively for passing or re-passing and no other use.”

The Central Government drafted street vendor bill in the year 2012 to safe guard their rights to do business within the legal framework.
In 2014 bill passed the street vendors (protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) act, 2014 .

It covered rules , regulations, duty, grounds of eviction, relocation and dispute resolution mechanism .

Decentralization of legislative power
Under section 22 of the Act empower appropriate state government may, by rules made in this behalf, provide for the term and the manner of constituting a Town Vending Committee in each local authority:
Provided that the appropriate Government may, if considers necessary, provide for constitution of more than one Town Vending Committee, or a Town Vending Committee for each zone or ward, in each local authority.
(2) Each Town Vending Committee shall consist of:-
(a) Municipal Commissioner or Chief Executive Officer, as the case may be, who shall be the Chairperson; and
(b) such number of other members as may be prescribed, to be nominated by the appropriate Government, representing the local authority, medical officer of the local authority, the planning authority, traffic police, police, association of street vendors, market associations, traders associations, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, resident welfare associations, banks and such other interests as it deems proper;
(c) the number of members nominated to represent the non-governmental organisations and the community based organisations shall not be less than ten per cent.;
(d) the number of members representing the street vendors shall not be less than forty per cent. who shall be elected by the street vendors themselves in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that one-third of members representing the street vendors shall be from amongst women vendors:
Provided further that due representation shall be given to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and persons with disabilities from amongst the members representing street vendors.

The Chairperson and the members nominated under sub-section (2) shall receive such allowances as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government.

Barriers in issue of license.
Section 5 (b) mentioned that only the vendor who has no other means of livelihood to be issued license.
To monitoring and identify if any vendors involved in any other activity for earning.
Its difficult to enforce the condition for the TVC.

Issue of License
Town vendor committee has granted the powers to identify and issue license to the vendors. Issue of license is easy for the stationery vendor as who operated at specified location , but not such case for mobile /roam vendors who intended to do business at not on specific location regularly always on the go. To over come this issue time frame should be given for them to apply license before any proposed event .

Section 28 Penalty for contraventions.- If any street vendor-
(a) indulges in vending activities without a certificate of vending;
(b) contravenes the terms of certificate of vending; or
(c) contravenes any other terms and conditions specified for the purpose of regulating street vending under this Act or any rules or schemes made thereunder,
he shall be liable to a penalty for each such offence which may extend up to rupees two thousand as may be determined by the local authority.

Welfare schemes- In our country millions of workers belongs to informal sector. Without any social security, Section 31 of the act take that into that consideration-The appropriate Government may, in consultation with the Town Vending Committee, local authority, planning authority and street vendors associations or unions, 10
promotional measures of making available credit, insurance and other welfare schemes of social security for the street vendors.

Implementing such schemes for those vendors will improve economic-social conditions.
Risk/emergency management plan- TVC should prepare plan to identify risk that might occur while operating a market/event at any location.

As more and more people do online shopping already big debate going on is visiting stores passe . It is imperative that the customer should realize those vendors be it in on a sizzling summer or torrential downpour selling on the streets. buying from those vendors will directly help them to earning a dignified livelihood. This act bring huge relief to them. 

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