Though relieved and happy over the passage of the much-awaited Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, in the Lok Sabha last Friday, street vendors have expressed their anger and rage against the Opposition parties for stalling the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
National Association of Street Vendors of India slammed the Opposition parties, particularly the BJP and the SP, for becoming an “obstacle” for the passage of the proposed law which has been described as one of the “critical social-political needs of urban India”.
Now the vendors will have to wait till the Winter Session of Parliament for the enactment of the Bill.
Presently street vendors function in a legal vacuum as there is no legislation to protect their right to vend, making them vulnerable to harassment by the State agencies like municipal bodies and local police.
Expressing his disappointment, NASVI programme manager Ranjit Abhigyan highlighted the fact that in the Lok Sabha the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj strongly pitched for the Bill and also congratulated Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Girija Vyas for bringing in a socially progressive legislation. But when the Bill was presented in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP and SP members behaved differently and stalled the passage, alleged Mr. Abhigyan. He termed the move of Opposition “sheer political hypocrisy and sabotage.”The proposed law makes it mandatory for a town or city to allocate vending licences to at least 2.5 per cent of the total population. There will be town and zonal vending committee in each city with 40 per cent representation of street vendors.