PM Vajpayee’s historic intervention in response to Manushi’s advocacy campaign on behalf of street vendors: Concept Note on reforming the licensing regime for street hawkers & rickshaw pullers

A. Background:

1. Recently there has been a spate of articles in the media about the operation of the licensing regime for hawkers and rickshaw pullers in Delhi (e.g. article titled: "Poor Excuses" by Tavleen Singh in India Today, 9 July 2001, "Regulate street hawkers" in Times of India 16 July 2001). A study by a high profile NGO, Manushi, titled: "How the License Quota Raj Impacts the Urban Poor" was also released. Sh N. Vittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner, has written to the Delhi Chief Minister, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, drawing her attention to the problems.

2. The broad points made in these articles, the Manushi study, and Sh. Vittal's letter are as follows:

  • The policy of restrictive issue of licenses for hawkers and rickshaw pullers is a perversion of the SC judgement in Saudam Singh vs. NDMC and others, 1987, which ruled that hawking, etc. represented a fundamental right to livelihood, and was subject only to reasonable regulations to avoid potential social costs of these activities (e.g. street/pavement obstruction).
  • The restrictive licensing system enables rents to be collected by the officials who process, issue, and enforce licenses. These rents are estimated in the Manushi study to be approx. Rs 50 crores a month. (While the study followed a rather informal methodology/approach, the figure is not beyond credibility, coming to c. Rs 1000 per month per hawker. The number of unlicensed hawkers is estimated at 500,000, while those licensed are just 20,000).
  • Hawkers and rickshaw pullers are also subject to atrocities by these functionaries, e.g. destruction or misappropriation of the hawkers' wares or impounding/destruction of rickshaws, by these functionaries.
  • That it is time that the licensing system is reformed so that the hawkers and rickshaw pullers, belonging to the poorest sections of urban society, are enabled to pursue their modest livelihoods without extortion. This would convey the message that policy reforms benefit the poor, and not only the middle class or well-to-do.

B. Origin of the licensing system:

3. The licensing system for hawkers was given legitimacy in a Supreme Court decision in Saudam Singh and others vs NDMC, SLP © No. 15257/87. In this judgement, the SC while ruling that the fundamental right of livelihood under Art. 19(1)(g) of the Constitution cannot be denied to street/pavement hawkers, held that this right was subject to regulation by way of reasonable restrictions under Art. 19 (6) of the Constitution, by the State (as trustee of the public in relation to streets). Specifically, in relation to street hawkers, the SC observed:" So far as the right of a hawker to transact business while going from place to place is concerned, it has been admittedly recognized for a long period. Of course, that also is subject to proper regulation in the interest of general convenience of the public including health and security considerations". While no specific SC ruling is available for rickshaws, they may be interpreted as street hawkers providing a transportation service, (rather than a tangible commodity), and accordingly covered by the SC Saudam Singh vs NDMC decision (relating to the fundamental right to livelihood subject only to minimal regulation). MCD licenses for (commodity) street hawkers are issued under Section 420 of the MCD Act, and for cycle rickshaws under Section 489 of the MCD Act. There are analogous provisions in the NDMC regulations.

4. The licensing system for both street hawkers and cycle rickshaws seek to limit the numbers of these tradespersons. Further, they impose a number of restrictive conditions which do not seem to relate to "general convenience of the public including health and security considerations" or give wide discretion to officials, which is potentially open to misuse.

C. Effects of the licensing system:

5. Hawking and cycle rickshaws provide low cost, easily accessible retail and transportation services to urban households. Because of the low cost, most of the users are low-income households. They are also highly labour-intensive, and because of their small scale of operations, involve low capital entry requirements. Accordingly, they are among the easiest occupations to enter for the urban poor. By providing employment and low-cost services, they enhance societal welfare and accordingly should be encouraged as a matter of public policy. Further, it has been pointed out1 that hawkers provide other indirect societal benefits, i.e. their presence reduces the scope for eve-teasing, and by reducing transportation requirements for shopping, to reduced pollution.

6. On the other hand, concerns have been expressed about the possible social costs of these occupations. These are centred on street congestion, hygiene, and security (petty crime). These are discussed below:

7. Street congestion: A simple economic analysis of markets for these services shows that the numbers of providers is inherently limited by market demand. If the number of providers (supply of the goods or service) is limited by fiat (as in a quantity based licensing system), two things will happen: first, the price of the services will rise to above the (marginal) cost of supply giving rise to a potential rent, and second, that officials who issue licenses will be well-placed to collect (most of) this rent, so long as the slightest element of discretion is involved in the selection of licensees. Further, because of rise in the price of the services, non-licensed providers would seek to enter the market. This provides an opportunity for the enforcers to collect rents. The result is that consumers pay higher prices, the number of service providers (and hence employment) is reduced, and officials who dispense and enforce licenses collect rents. This is exactly the situation which prevailed in the regime of industrial licensing.

8. In any large, heterogeneous city, the market demand for hawking (and cycle rickshaw) services varies by locality, time of day, day of the week, and in each of these, over time. Depending on the density of streets and built-up areas, without licensing or other regulation, street congestion may not occur in particular areas at all, in some areas almost all the time, and in others, at particular times (of day, day of the week, etc). Accordingly, the problem of street congestion by hawkers and cycle rickshaws can be disaggregated into "green" (no restriction), "red" (prohibited), and "amber" (regulated) areas. In respect of regulation, as noted above, quantity-based regulations (licenses) furnish scope for rent-seeking. The alternative of fee-based regulation for "amber" areas, (i.e. no restriction on entry so long as one pays an entry fee to the municipality), if properly designed, may eliminate the scope for rent-seeking.

9. Hygiene: Hygiene is implicated in relation to street hawkers in two aspects. One, in relation to foodstuffs peddled by them. Second, on the (external) pollution caused by their garbage. On neither count is the concern categorically different from that due to other service providers, e.g. restaurants. However, the mobile nature of the hawkers may mean that regulatory measures (in particular for food adulteration) may be difficult to enforce. The problem then reduces to means of identification of particular vendors.

10. Security, law and order: The concern is that street hawking (and cycle rickshaws) may sometimes be a cover for illicit activities, e.g. peddling narcotics, pimping, etc. Once again, the concern is not categorically different from that due to other service providers. Similar to the issue of hygiene, the problem reduces to means of ensuring identification of street hawkers (and cycle rickshaw pullers).

D. Other issues:

11. If one considers that street hawking and cycle rickshaws are legitimate occupations providing positive net societal benefits, one should also seek to put in place mechanisms to facilitate technological upgrading of the activities, and access to the institutions of the formal economy. These are discussed below:

12. Technology upgrading: Technology upgrading would help ensure increased labour productivity in these activities. They may also help reduce hygiene and pollution impacts, or street congestion (by increasing mobility). However, technology upgrading requires investment, and investment requires an absence (or reduction) of risk. Clearly, so long as a licensing system which enables the licensor/enforcer to extract the entire rents of the activities persists, savings (and investment) by the service providers will not happen. On the other hand, if the policy environment is conducive to investment, suppliers of improved technologies will enter the market.

13. Formal Economy Institutions: Such institutions would comprise institutional finance (including micro-finance), franchised retail marketing, etc. However, access to such institutions, which is also conducive to technological up-gradation, is risky so long as the majority of hawkers/cycle rickshaws are "unlicensed", and therefore have no legal standing (in fact are "illegal"), and subject to removal. Formal economy institutions would also perceive less risk if the clients (hawkers and rickshaw pullers) were properly identified.

E. An Alternative Regulatory System:

14. Based on the foregoing analysis, an alternative regulatory regime for street hawkers and cycle rickshaws is outlined as follows:

  • The existing licensing system with quantitative limits must be scrapped forthwith.
  • The metropolis may be divided into "green", "amber", and "red" zones, signifying free access, fee-based access, and prohibited access, respectively. The division into "green", "amber", and "red" categories may vary with time of day, day of the week, and day of the month, and maybe revised periodically. The division may be made separately for street hawkers and cycle rickshaws. Such zoning must be both formally notified, and prominent street signs put up to indicate their boundaries and timings. The division may be made by the MCD/NDMC in their jurisdictions, but invariably with the formal consultation of residents' associations and the area elected representatives. Other general (i.e. applicable to all) restrictions on street hawking/cycle rickshaws may be specified in minimal terms and strictly consistent with the Saudam Singh vs NDMC judgement, i.e. in the interest of general convenience of the public including health and security considerations, e.g. avoidance between midnight and 5 am, no overnight squatting/parking on the pavements, no stopping on the carriageway, all garbage to be removed and properly disposed off, no obstructions at traffic lights or bus stops. (Restrictions on adulterated food, narcotics, etc. must flow from the respective legislations, not as further restrictions specific to these occupations). Conversely, there must be an absolute prohibition on municipal and police authorities from impounding, or destruction, or seizure, of goods and equipment, except when permitted under other laws (e.g. excise laws).
  • Any person who wishes to be a street hawker or cycle rickshaw puller may do so by a simple act of registration involving two steps: (a) reliable identification by any means (e.g. voters id, ration card, passport, driving license, a letter from an elected representative or citizen in good standing), and (b) payment of a nominal fee to cover costs of issue ot a photo identification card. Upon registration, which should be done on the spot, the person would have unrestricted access to all "green" areas. Penalties for non-registration must be restricted to a surcharge on the fee, but impounding, destruction, or seizure of the goods and equipment by any authority must be absolutely prohibited. The registrations may be renewed (say, once a year) by payment of a modest renewal fee, and affixing the current period's sticker on the registration id. The sole purpose of the registration is to provide reliable identification for the purposes noted above. It is not a permit to ply the trade. No such permit is needed, being a fundamental right (as established in Saudam Singh & ors vs. NDMC). Accordingly, there must be no numerical limits on registrations.
  • A registered street hawker/cycle rickshaw puller who wishes to ply in an "amber" zone, may do so by paying a fee, upon which a sticker to the effect may be affixed on the registration id. Once again, there must not be any quantity or numerical restrictions on the issue of such stickers. Numbers of street hawkers/cycle rickshaws in the "amber" zones may instead be regulated by adjustment of the amount of fee periodically (this fee need not be nominal, but may serve to limit numbers to a level at which significant congestion does not occur). Once again, penalties for plying in an "amber" zone without payment of a fee may involve a financial penalty, in addition to the fee, but in any case, there must be an absolute prohibition on municipal and police authorities from impounding, or destruction, or seizure, of goods and equipment. The fee may be scaled to different categories of street hawkers, e.g. peddlers on foot; or using pedalled vehicles; or using animal-drawn vehicles; or using motorized vehicles of below 800 cc engine capacity; or using motorized vehicles of above 800 cc; etc.
  • Non-government organizations with a record of working for the welfare of street hawkers and rickshaw pullers may be authorized to interface between them and the concerned MCD/NDMC authorities in respect of registration and renewals, issuance of "amber zone" stickers, and enforcement measures. Such interfacing by NGOs may provide employment to unemployed urban youth.

179 thoughts on “PM Vajpayee’s historic intervention in response to Manushi’s advocacy campaign on behalf of street vendors: Concept Note on reforming the licensing regime for street hawkers & rickshaw pullers”

  1. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  2. I have been surfing online more than three hours these days, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  3. Appreciating the persistence you put into your website and in depth information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  4. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thank you

  5. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  6. I am extremely inspired together with your writing skills and alsowell as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to peer a nice blog like this one these days..

  7. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  8. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  9. I am currently writing a paper and a bug appeared in the paper. I found what I wanted from your article. Thank you very much. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration. But hope you can explain your point in more detail because I have some questions, thank you. 20bet

  10. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  11. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  12. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist other users like its helped me. Good job.

  13. This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  14. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  15. Excellent blog here! Also your site rather a lot up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link for your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  16. I am really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog audience have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  17. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  18. Adult blood sugar levelsFreee slutty milf swallowsJapanee fucking studentsLisst
    of bbra sizes for teensLittly titgties hair pussiesMature magnoliasHistory of the vaginba monologuesFree nuyde
    celberitiesBest facial cleanser and toner acnne herb acme medicationSatisfaction extended xxxx versionGirls
    sucxk dicks aat strrip clubsJapanese uncensored lesbian moviesGravy irls handjobJacet xlj asianAdupt cartoons thumbsSexy pictures of
    jacquely smithSexy inkled womenVintage gazed english cream bowlsFreee
    thumbnails teen pussyHoot erotWiloliams tennijs nudeTeen chatting websites like roomsBrasilian sexBurlington maa
    dicks sportinng goodsYoung girtl sex fantasyGiantt femnales tall amazon nudeFuckinbg bigg breastAmateur free
    xxxx videoTastefuyl sexual moviesAssociated with latex allergyGay men’s lether wearMilf por fdee video clipsBondage feeet storeisFree amature voyeur videosMasterbating suaved blonde videosTeenn periodd crampsAmatteur video nn
    frde longSong of solomon ofal sexKhai fuckihg me tonight vidCouples
    sedcing teensGayy marriage vs civil unionLatgina ssex
    porn free videosGaay pantiehoseSucking dkck sexHuman rigjts and gay rightsBlack germini orn starThhe worrld iis yours nudeVintage moeel aircraftDorothy facial cumshotSexy
    druunk gidls naked videos pussyspread Tapinng thumb injurySelff toy trannyMy sisters nudeFree naked young boyss videosCraigslist diego erotic sanHott modls eroticMeeet n fuckk free onlime gamesFlamingo rainboots for adultsSeveral nuude teensVntage wedding
    dresses houstonGrajd theft auto saan andreas strip lub locationObana annd sex educatyion billChristy thom nudeShavbed corgiYouttube busty copsComplletely frere porn thumbsAsian girels slowwly stripped videoSexx offenders work placeNatalie eros escort native americanAmzteur
    film milfOrrgy sexx party 11Teens in patyhose hardcdore porn vidsHardcore bbig ccocks free picsExperience pistrol sexErotic stories femnale news anchorsChubby
    parde shugarntexasSperm donation infoAeonn
    flux nue galleryCute adult halloweenStripped naked torturdd bsddm naziFree sex met in wittenherg wisconsinPatning suit peeFartiest pussyFreee
    gallery bdsm bondageFrree bmw latina boobsSex iin chicagoRedd light district nakedBusty bob tit naturalCock sudker of the monthBarbije
    cumminggs gloryholeBoold beautifuul bbws dvdNun sex movieXxxx rated westernsUtrasound images sowing breast inflammationRohmanian porno actressStreaming
    mature videosSafety in anal penetrationBabe brunette dildoBikini bottoms
    lakewoodAli mcgraw njde picsSegere diseased penisFrree onlinee
    tentacle hentaiPorenstar winte skyDownload anime milfPantyhose video clipsWhen breeeding dogs cum twiceFree dbz porn move downloadsHott twnns grttin fuckedFree big mature tits andd pussiesParkeerplaats ssex gayMario hedntai
    streamStraigyht men xxx gayBloow joob juliesPlacess ffor
    gay sexLesbians tongue fuckingUtube polrn jackoffMichelle pfgeiffer pornMinutes porno lips ffor downloazd
    feeHow to emmail too virgkn mobbile phoneBlohd milf using huge dildoFreee big matgure anal moviesManga hentaii nnude lra croftJessica lynn poen videosTeenn sex gallery
    3Mature rated xxxAdut ree vidieoCelewb accidentyal nudesFfm fucking with cumm picturesCategolry 4 brteast
    lesionIn llocker man naked roolm sportAssian vegetationWowowee host upskirtFairry tzle porn free videosSaint paul
    sex freeRbss insurance fuckSweet girl flirting nakedAmwteur flashing teenColumbus ohio adrult
    massage parlorsToori ane throat fuck pukeFahial exercise that workCristine taylor
    titsNakeed swotd ftee 30Virgin mobile usa oficial webb sitePifture oof a female raabbit vaginaBreas are center scrantonHyphhenation patters latexSaraa paxton bkkini picsMisss nevasa picture sexyBracelet perl vintageYouth
    coming oout gaay lesbianAdulkt image movieCumm wih me movieAverage nude malesContracts for teedn driversChris eugene sterner seex
    offenderNude excercisingMom-son sex teasing storiesBeest sex scenee movieVintage dinghyTeeen recreation programmerNazty lesbain anl straponBritish
    virgin islands honeymoonsDrerams about thumbKleernex facial tiszue juniors miniboxBrides inn free pornoFree hot
    model nudee picOld men young tees fuckAsian tggp videosBeijing eescorts
    massageAdult algernative oon digiotal cableFemae porn tars historyHoow tto tease a master bdsmMature ontario womanPorrn tbe teen homee seex moviesHeii hills
    montag video sex pirn movieMemphis monroe gewtting fuckedVintage wire fenceEliseabeth shue nuhde galleryAmqteur arab girlsNude
    coupleds oon beachRegi pokrno kartyaLoose vagina
    definitionPysics comic stripLesbian psycho therapistys 1 downloadBroadcasting
    ault webcamsRomance aand eroticPornn bigg nippelsRelationship forum
    maturee adultsLucid dreaqm vibratorFreee porrn gijrls stonedCyntyia mireles eel paso texas lesbiansNn teenns
    tteen planetIs thgis penis biig oor smallTeeen lesbia briziliansGuyy cums in siter pussyAsiazn deagon myspace layoutsSchlessijger teedn heralth videoo series
    teacher guidesRedd heawd anjal slutsThe naked agendaSasha ggrey adult

  19. Хотите получить идеально ровный пол в своей квартире или офисе? Обращайтесь к профессионалам на сайте! Мы предоставляем услуги по устройству стяжки пола в Москве и области, а также гарантируем быстрое и качественное выполнение работ.

  20. Хотите обновить свой дом с минимальными усилиями? Штукатурка по маякам стен – это то, что вам нужно. Обратитесь к профессионалам с

  21. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  22. Hey very nice blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I am satisfied to seek out so many useful information here in the post, we’d like develop more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top