Hawkers demand formation of common interest groups

A roadside vendor doing brisk business near GVMC in Visakhapatnam.  Photo: A.Manikanta Kumar

A roadside vendor doing brisk business near GVMC in Visakhapatnam. Photo: A.Manikanta Kumar

With hardly two hawkers’ zones being formed and other provisions required for hawkers still not in place, hawkers are demanding that a survey be carried out and identity cards issued to them paving the way for other measures envisaged for their welfare.

The National Vendors Policy of 2009 on which the draft bill of Andhra Pradesh is modelled envisages formation of Town Vending Committees that give 40 per cent representation to vendors. Though the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) issued a GO in June, 2012, for survey of street vendors it has not materialised so far, says CEO of HELP, an NGO working among street vendors, Amir Ali. “Once the vendors are identified it will lead to the other key activities like issuing licence, forming common interest groups (CIGs) and extending bank linkage,” he says. The two hawkers’ zones created so far are not self-sufficient to enable hawkers secure their goods, he points out. In contrast, 52 hawkers’ zones have been created and 1,500 shops provided in Bhubaneswar, he says. An independent assessment from Pendurti to Asilmetta by HELP puts the number of hawkers at 954. Mr. Ali estimates that at least 20 zones are required for the GVMC.

GVMC Urban Community Development (UCD) project director M.N.A. Patrudu told The Hindu that a survey, which was carried out in 2010-11, identified 12,300 vendors. “Now hawkers zones have to be created according to the master plan, hawkers shifted there, identity cards should be given and CIGs formed,” he admits. The formation of CIGs will help them in getting the investment required to carry out their day-to-day business.

Meanwhile, the government has asked the convener of the State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) to allot a certain percentage of total advances in the city/district to hawkers at differential rate of interest. This would enable them obtain funds at interests much lower than the usurious rates paid to private moneylenders. But that still leaves them way behind what CIGs could achieve- provide bank linkage at 4 per cent.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 12:17:23 am |