The Street Vendors (protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) bill 2013 was passed by Rajya Sabha at the fag end of the tenure of UPA II. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in September 2013. But due to hurdles caused by BJP in the Rajya Sabha, it could not be passed in the upper house. The street vendor’s led by NASVI, mounted a powerful campaign directed against the members of Rajya Sabha and the BJP, which eventually relented and the bill was was passed by the upper house, bringing to fruitation a long standing demand of street vendors to recognise their occupation and to protect them from harassment by the police.
This bill paves the way for recognition of street vending and vendors and assures to protect them from evictions and harrasment from police and local authorities. The text of the bill can be accessed from here
NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors in India) has welcomed this development. They had been in the forefront of the struggle for a legislation that would provide legal recognition and security to the vendors who faced significant levels of harassment, constant threat of eviction and forced displacements. The bill, implicitly recognizes the contribution of this large section of the working class to our national economy and thereby bestows an improved status to these workers. While it is being hailed as an important step in the right direction, it is also recognised that the bill in its present form has certain serious deficiencies and its implementation will be an uphill struggle for its proponents and the street vendors.