ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Street Vendors Bill

Opportunities and Challenges

The Street Vendors Bill, awaiting the presidential assent, may hinder an otherwise informal and flexible business model. Reducing the level of regulation and rigid bureaucracy could pave the way for a law that takes into account the concerns of the street vendors themselves.

The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013 (hereafter SVB) was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 September 2013 and by the Rajya Sabha on 19 February 2014. The bill which is awaiting assent of the president to be an Act,1 is being treated as a milestone in progressive policy response to unemployment and economic displacement of the urban poor. However it appears that in seeking to protect street vendors from mistreatment by the civic agencies and the police, the SVB opens floodgates of a new set of problems. While the need for regulation of street vending is imperative, equally important is the need to view and review it critically with the objective of arriving at the best possible practice. This article examines some of the key features of the SVB with insights provided from interviews with 60 street vendors in Delhi.


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