The Parliament of India introduced the Street Vendors Act 2014 (SVA) with an aim to protect the rights of urban street vendors and regulate street vending activities. Among other things, the Act aims to formalise vendors by surveying them, providing them with certificates, demarcating vending zones and putting in place a grievance redressal mechanism.
However, evidence collected on the Management Information System (MIS) maintained by the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) shows that most states fare poorly in implementing the key provisions of the Act (Centre for Civil Society 2020). Vendors continue to suffer from frequent evictions, seizure of their goods and heavy penalties. Over the years, Centre for Civil Society has championed vendors’ right to livelihood. Our analysis of the data stored in NULM’s MIS, information gathered from different states under the Right to Information Act, analysis of case laws and interaction with vendors and vendor associations over the years has helped us build evidence on the gaps in the SVA.
We find that the underlying cause behind poor implementation (or inaction) on part of the local authorities is: missing incentives, lack of accountability measures and the cost of formalising vendors. Based on this understanding, we made some recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development in 2020. This committee was set up to study the implementation of the Act. We were the only civil society representative to testify. You can read Resource
Resource Documents:Examination of the Implementation of the SVA, 2014