New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) There was good news for India's ubiquitous urban street vendor Monday as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked all states to give them a better deal and ensure they are not harassed.
In a letter to all chief ministers, Manmohan Singh urged them to take 'personal interest to ensure that the (new) national policy on urban street vendors is vigorously and sincerely implemented by the state governments'.
The prime minister stated: 'As you are aware, the government of India has revised the national policy on urban street vendors formulated in the year 2004. The revised policy aims at ensuring that urban street vendors are given due recognition at national, state and local levels to pursue economic activity without harassment.'
And he insisted that the locations where vendors could carry their business should be properly identified in urban development plans.
Manmohan Singh drew the attention of chief ministers to the Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009, and said: 'The revised policy underscores the need for a legislative framework to enable street vendors to pursue an honest living without harassment from any quarter.'
'I hope you will take steps to accord a new deal to the urban street vendors as a group who need space and facilities for their legitimate activities,' Manmohan Singh stated.
He asked chief ministers to take steps to 'restructure master planning laws and city/local area plans to make them 'inclusive' and address the requirements of space for street vending as an important urban activity.'
The prime minister urged the states to devise norms for 'suitable spatial planning for reservation of space for street vendors in accordance with their current population and projected growth.'
Manmohan Singh also said the states should ensure proper demarcation of 'restriction-free vending zones, restricted vending zones, no-vending zones and mobile vending areas in every city and town, taking into account the natural propensity of street
vendors to locate in certain places at certain times.'
The prime minister urged the states to take measures for 'convergent delivery' of government programmes for street vendors. The schemes include Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Prime Minister's
Employment Generation Programme, Skill Development Initiative, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and National Social Assistance Programme.