The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014

The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014


A statistical data given by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation shows that there are more than 10 million of the street vendors in India. Alone Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Ahmedabad has more than 9 million of them. These street vendors are a significant part of India's informal economy. Most of the street vendors are the migrants from the rural areas who come to metropolitan cities for earning purpose. 

Due to the lack of capital, these vendors sell their products on the government places like railway stations, bus stands, and public streets. Being an unregulated practice, the street vendors has to face several problems like eviction threats by municipal authorities or extortion by police. In 2010's Commonwealth games many vendors were evicted due to security concerns. This lead to a massive outcry by NGO's and the vendors and the idea of protecting the rights of street vendors was born. The act was tabled in Parliament in 2012 and came into force in 2014.


The objective

The government of India enacted The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 to legalise the street vendors' vending rights. This act was brought in accordance with Article 14 of the Constitution of India which states right to equality, and freedom to trade, profession, and business and enshrined under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. The act regulates the street vendors and gives provisions for a regulatory body. The act lays responsibility on the government to recognise the rights of the street vendors and provide them with protection from any kind of extortion and infringement. 

The state governments have been empowered by the act to protect the rights of the street vendors. The act also gives provision for a "Town Vending Committee" constituted by the respective state government under section 22. There is also local authority which is a Municipal Corporation or a Municipal Council or a Nagar Panchayat. The local authority will work on the recommendation of the Town vending committee.


Town Vending Committee

The Town Vending Committee plays a vital role in recognising the rights of street vendors. It operates over the local authority and makes survey surveys, setting up that particular area's holding capacity. The committee also issues the vending license to carry out vending business.



The committee consists of a Chairman, and other members having their representation from the traffic police, the planning authority, medical officer, an association of market traders, an association of street traders, community interest organisation and other organisations deems suitable by the government. The Chief Election Commissioner or the Municipal Commissioner is the Chairman of the "town vending committee". 10 per cent members of the committee shall be from non-government organisations or community service-based organisations. In order to protect the rights of the street vendors, 40 per cent members shall be the from street vendors community, out of which one-third representative shall be women, and due prominence shall be given to the Scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people.


Power and functions of the committee

The "town vending committee" has to organise meetings from time to time concerning the framing of rules and regulations and discharging its functions. The local authority of that area will provide the office place for the committee. 

According to Section 3 of the act, the committee shall survey the area where the street vendors conduct their business, and such survey shall be done once in 5 years. The committee will determine the holding capacity of the street vendors, and it shall be two and a half per cent of the total population of the ward or locality. 

Further, section 4 says that the committee shall issue the "vending certificate" to the vendors who have completed the age of 14 years or such age as may be prescribed by the appropriate government.

No street vendor shall be evicted in case he is left from the survey done by the town committee and has not been certified. Section 5 provides that every street vendor shall give an undertaking to the Town Vending Committee prior to the issue of a certificate of vending under section 4, that— 

(a) he shall carry on the business of street vending himself or through any of his family member. 

(b) he has no other means of livelihood: 

(c) he shall not transfer in any manner whatsoever, including rent, the certificate of vending or the place specified therein to any other person.


Right of Street Vendors

Section 12 to Section 17 of the act provides provisions for the rights of Street Vendors. It is mentioned that every street vendor has to carry out the business as per the conditions mentioned in the certificate. Every street vendor has to abide by the rules and can relocate a new area for the practice of his street vending after the consultation with the town vending committee. The street vendor is liable to maintain public hygiene and cleanliness and civic amenities near the vending area and shall occupy the space within the time frame and vacate such space as the provided time frame ends. For the enjoyment of the rights and services, the vendor has to pay certain charges as provided by the local authority.