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EXPLAINED: WHO IS A ‘STREET VENDOR’ IN INDIA, AND WHAT IS THE STREET VENDORS ACT?

EXPLAINED: WHO IS A ‘STREET VENDOR’ IN INDIA, AND WHAT IS THE STREET VENDORS ACT?

Context

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through video conferencing, distributed loans to nearly 300,000 street vendors under the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors’ Atmanirbhar Nidhi Yojana.

About PM SVANidhi

  • The PM SVANidhi scheme, funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, was launched in June, with an aim to provide credit for working capital to street vendors who have been affected due to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • PM SVANidhi ensures a working capital loan up to Rs 10,000 for vendors, and rewards digital transactions. All street vendors who have been in the business on or before March 24, 2020, are eligible to avail the benefits.

Street vendors in India

  • There are an estimated 50-60 lakh street vendors in India, with the largest concentrations in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. Most of them are migrants who typically work for 10–12 hours every day on average.
  • Anyone who doesn’t have a permanent shop is considered a street vendor. According to government estimates, street-vending accounts for 14 per cent of the total (non-agricultural) urban informal employment in the country.

About Street Vendors Act

  • The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 was enacted to regulate street vendors in public areas and protect their rights.
  • The Act envisages the formation of Town Vending Committees in various districts to ensure that all street vendors identified by the government are accommodated in the vending zones subject to norms.

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