Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 is an Act of Parliament enacted to regulate street vendors in India. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 6th September, 2013. It was passed by Rajya Sabha on 19th February,2014.Ultimately, Bill received assent of the President on 4th March, 2014 and it came into force on 1st May, 2014.
This Act consists of 10 chapters and 39 sections in toto. Chapter 3 describes rights of street vendors and Chapter 8 talks about prevention of harassment to street vendors. Because of these two chapters, this Act can be termed as life saver for street vendors.
Contents of the Act-
· Town Vending Committee will be responsible for conduction of a survey on all the street vendors under its jurisdiction and issue a certificate of vending to them. Such a survey must be conducted every five years. On breach of certain conditions, certificate can also be cancelled.
· A vendor who carries on vending activities shall be liable to pay penalty which may extend to two thousand rupees.
· Street vendors have to be accommodated in same vending zone. In case this is not possible, a separate space needs to be allocated to them for this purpose.
· Certificate can also be issued to vendors above fourteen years of age only on the condition that he will give an undertaking that he will carry on business or his family members will carry business on his behalf, that he will not transfer this certificate to any person. Exception to this rule is that certificate can be transferred to any family member of such a vendor on his death or permanent disability.
· No activity can be carried in non- vending areas.
· Vendors have to be given a notice to leave the non- vending zone within a period of 30 days. If they fail to do so, penalty has to be paid by them.
· For the purposes of deciding disputes, Chairperson (who has been judicial magistrate or civil judge) with two professionals needs to be there.
Advantages of the Act-
The present Act has been turned out to be fruitful as it provides a legislation for street vendors which was not there before. With the help of this, street vendors are given certain rights and protection from the law. Provision for issuance of certificate is the most vital provision of this Act.
Shortcomings of the Act-
One of the shortcomings has been highlighted by National Hawker Federation (NHF) which pointed out that draft bill said that Town Vending Committee has to consist of at least 40% representation from street vendors. However, this has not been included in the Act. Because of this,Committee sometimes misuses their powers as they are unable to know the sufferings of street vendors.