Thousands of vendors at ‘Street Vendors Dialogue with Political Leaders and Civil Society Representatives’ cheer as Union Minister Ajay Maken sends out cabinet approval message

New Delhi, 1 May:  Smiles and cheers prevailed among thousands of street vendors’ representatives on Wednesday at the  “Street Vendors Dialogue with Political Leaders and Civil Society Representatives”  here in Delhi with the Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken sending a message that the much awaited Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill had been approved by the Union Cabinet.  The national dialogue was organized by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in partnership with National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI).

Mr. Maken who was to address the street vendors’ convention could not attend because of his presence in the Cabinet meeting. However, his office sent message of the development related to the Bill. The message read, “Protecting and promoting livelihood of street vendors is of paramount importance for the inclusive growth of cities and towns, and the government is committed to table the Bill in the current session of Parliament itself.”

Based on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, the revamped Bill vetted by the Union Cabinet makes the proposed Act having overriding effect over all state and municipal laws  as well as the Police Act.

Hundreds of street vendors from about 15 states joined the National Dialogue at Kamani Auditorium in the national capital and raised their concerns over the delay in passing of the Bill. The main purpose of organizing the dialogue was to build momentum for getting an effective central law passed.

Besides several street vendor leaders of Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,  Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Congress leader and Delhi MP JP Agrawal,  former director general of Labour and Welfare S.K. Das, FSSAI functionary Suniti Kumar Gupta and CCS Associate Director Shantanu Gupta also addressed the convention.

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