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HC makes government push street vendors act cart

Though the Central government introduced the legislation for street vendors, it left the rules to state governments.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 18, 2018, 10.45 AM IST
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BENGALURU: After much confusion and delay over drafting rules for the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vendors) Act, 2014, the state government could be finally moving forward, thanks to a directive from the High Court.

The apex court has asked the government to publish the draft rules by October 30.

Though the Central government introduced the legislation for street vendors, it left the rules to state governments. The Urban Development Department (UDD), which was initially handling the drafting process in Karnataka, published the draft rules in May 2016. It even sought objections and suggestions. However, the draft along with suggestions received from the public went into cold storage.

Nearly two years later, the documents were transferred to the Department of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood as all projects under the livelihood mission are to be handled by the skill development department.

“Though the UDD had prepared the draft and it was pending notification, our department made several changes to the draft to suit several requirements. We have modified the formation of town vending committee, election procedure for these committees etc,” revealed an official who wished anonymity.

The draft rules are likely to be sent to the Department of Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation in a week’s time. However, it is not clear if the government will call for suggestions and objections once again.

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The skill development has also renamed the draft rules as Street Vendors Micro Business Rules. “The renaming was done to help street vendors. The government would like to consider them as micro business units for all practical purposes,” skill development secretary Amlan Aditya Biswas told ET.

While the department is making some major welfare plans for street vendors, including developing an app to help people locate street vendors in the area, those working closely with street vendors are unhappy with the developments, or the lack of them.

There are three cases of arbitrary eviction of street vendors before the high court. Groups fighting for the rights of street vendors are now planning to file a fresh petition pressing for the rules to be introduced at the earliest.

“We had submitted objections and suggestions to the draft rules about two years ago. But the government has delayed issuing the final notification. The BBMP even conducted the street vendors survey without forming town vending committees, which is in violation of the Street Vendors Act. We are planning to file a fresh petition in the court,” said Vinay Srinivasa of the Federation of Bengaluru District Street Vendors’ Organisations.

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