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Pass street vendors bill: Women vendors

Posted on Feb 15 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 15 : Women vendors Saturday demanded the passage of The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 during the ongoing Parliament session.

"Nearly a quarter of my daily income is lost in the form of paying bribes to the police, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and land mafia," Kiran Ben, a vendor from Lal Qila bazaar, said.

Kiran and other women vendors under the Self Employed Women's Association demanded their right to sell wares be secured and an end to their being exploited and harassed.

"The absence of legal protection and regulation is not only harmful for the street vendors but also causes great loss to the exchequer each year," said Sanjay Kumar, director, SEWA Bharat.

The bill, passed by the Lok Sabha, provides for protection of livelihood rights, social security of street vendors and regulation of urban street vending in the country.

Sought to be introduced in the upper house Feb 11, the "non-controversial" bill could not be taken up for discussion because of chaos in the house over the Telangana issue.

"The government is able to grant space for malls but is unwilling to do the same for street vendors," said Sundari Ben.

She added lawmakers need to rise above political lines and support the passage of the bill which not only "recognises our contribution to the national economy but also protects our livelihood."

In a bid to get it passed, members will stage an indefinite protest at the Jantar Mantar from Feb 17 to exert pressure on political leaders.

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