National Policy on Street Vendors 2004
Street vending as a profession has been in existence in
since time immemorial. However, their number has increased manifold
in the recent years. According to one study Mumbai has the largest
number of street vendors numbering around 250,000, while
has around 200,000.
has more than 150,000 street vendors and Ahmedabad has around
constitute a large number of street vendors in almost every city.
Some studies estimate that street vendors constitute
approximately 2% of the population of a metropolis. The total number
of street vendors in the country is estimated at around 1 crore.
Urban vending is not only a source of employment but provide
‘affordable’ services to the majority of urban
population. The role
played by the hawkers in the economy as also in the society needs to
be given due credit but they are considered as unlawful entities and
are subjected to continuous harassment by Police and civic
is reported to be continuing even after the ruling of the Supreme
Court that “if properly regulated according to the exigency of the
circumstances, the small traders on the side walks can considerably
add to the comfort and convenience of the general public, by making
available ordinary articles of everyday use for a comparatively
lesser price. An ordinary person, not very affluent, while hurrying
towards his home after a day’s work can pick up these articles
without going out of his way to find a regular market. The right to
carry on trade or business mentioned in Article 19(1)g of the
Constitution, on street pavements, if properly regulated cannot be
denied on the ground that the streets are meant exclusively for
passing or re-passing and no other use.”
Further Articles 39 (a) and (b) of the Constitution clearly mention that the
State shall in particular direct its policy so that -
the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate
means of livelihood.
the ownership and
control of the material resources of the
community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common
Street vendors provide valuable services to the urban population
while trying to earn a livelihood and it is the duty of the State to
protect the right of this segment of population to earn their
livelihood. This policy
aims to ensure that this important section of the urban population
finds recognition for its contribution to society, and is
conceived of as a major initiative for urban poverty alleviation.
vendor is broadly defined as a person who offers goods or services
for sale to the public without having a permanent built up structure
but with a temporary static structure or mobile stall (or headload).
Street vendors may be stationary by occupying space on the pavements
or other public/private areas, or may be mobile in the sense that
they move from place to place carrying their wares on push carts or
in cycles or baskets on their heads, or may sell their wares in
moving bus etc. In this
policy document, the term urban vendor is inclusive of both traders
and service providers, stationary as well as mobile vendors and
incorporates all other local/region specific terms used to describe
them, such as, hawker, pheriwalla, rehri-patri walla, footpath
dukandars, sidewalk traders, etc.
3. Overarching Objectives
overarching objective to be achieved through this policy is to:
Provide and promote a supportive environment for earning
livelihoods to the Street vendors, as well as ensure absence of
congestion and maintenance of hygiene in public spaces and streets.
basic objectives of the policy are:
Legal: To give vendors
legal status by amending, enacting, repealing and implementing
appropriate laws and providing legitimate hawking zones in urban
development/ zoning plans.
Facilities: To provide
facilities for appropriate use of identified space including the
creation of hawking zones in the urban development/ zoning plans
Regulation: To eschew
imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces by
discretionary licenses and instead moving to nominal fee-based
regulation of access, where market forces like price, quality and
demand will determine the number of vendors that can be sustained.
Such a demand cannot be unlimited.
Role in distribution: To
make Street vendors a special component of the urban development
/zoning plans by treating them as an integral and legitimate part of
the urban distribution system.
Self Compliance: To
promote self-compliance amongst Street vendors.
Organization: To promote,
if necessary, organizations of Street vendors e.g. Unions /
Co-operatives/ Associations and other forms of organization to
facilitate their empowerment.
Participation: To set up
participatory mechanisms with representation by urban vendors’
organizations, (Unions / Co-operatives/ Associations), Voluntary
organizations, local authorities, the police, Residents Welfare
Association (RWAs) and others for orderly conduct of urban vending
Rehabilitation of Child
Vendors: To take measures for promoting a better future for
child vendors by making appropriate interventions for their
rehabilitation and schooling.
Social Security &
Financial Services: To facilitate/ promote social security
(pension, insurance, etc.,) and access to credit for Street vendors
through promotion of SHGs/co-operatives/Federations/Micro Finance