The Parliament of India introduced the Street Vendors Act 2014 with an aim to protect the rights of urban street vendors and regulate street vending. Among other things, the Act aims to formalise vendors by surveying them, providing them with vending certificates, demarcating vending zones, and putting in pla +ce institutions like the Grievance Redressal Committees and Town Vending Committees (TVCs).
However, evidence collected on the Management Information System maintained by the National Urban Livelihoods Mission shows that most states fare poorly in implementing the key provisions of the Act (Centre for Civil Society 2020). Vendors continue to suffer from undue evictions, seizure of their goods, and heavy penalties. Since 2017, Centre for Civil Society has been tracking the extent to which states have implemented the Street Vendors Act. We find that the following factors contribute to the poor implementation of the Act: misaligned incentives for actors in the system, lack of accountability measures for public officials, and the high cost of formalising vendors.
To overcome these issues, we prepared the Model Street Vendors Act. The revised draft aims to instil institutional accountability, limit the discretion of public officials, devolve powers from the local authorities and TVCs to vendor associations, and penalise public officials who harass street vendors. We presented the draft before the Departmental Committee set up by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in October 2020 to amend the Street Vendors Act.