The Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers (FIUPW) and PRIA released peoples manifesto titled ‘Addressing Urban Poverty and Reformed Urban Governance’ in a jointly organized event held on 28th March, 2014 at The Speaker Hall, Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.
“Addressing Urban Poverty and Reformed Governance - National Campaign” was organized on 12th February, 2014 at The Auditorium, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Delhi. PRIA and Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers (FIUPW) jointly organized the event. FIUPW’s manifesto on Urban Poor was shared with different media houses and later handed over to different political parties contesting for the general election 2014 in India.
Observing that FDI in multi-brand retail sector may not benefit Indian MSMEs, a Parliamentary panel has asked the MSME Ministry to commission a survey to gauge the impact of earlier FDI policies on the sector.
“The Committee is of the opinion that the FDI for retail may not have beneficial impact on the MSME sector,” Committee on impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail on MSME sector said in its report.
The committee suggested the MSME Ministry to commission a survey to assess the benefits and losses of previous FDI policies on the MSME sector to ascertain if FDI policy so far has created any back-end infrastructure, imparted skills to domestic manpower or upgraded managerial skills.
Highlighting that the government has not conducted any study on the impact of FDI since 1997, the Committee said the debate in Parliament reflects lack of consensus on the impact of FDI in various emerging economies and it was inaccurate to state that discussions generally indicated support for FDI.
The central government had permitted 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retailing in September 2012, leaving its implementation to the states.
So far, only UK-based Tesco’s proposal to invest in the sector has been approved by the Centre.
The Committee is chaired by Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha K C Tyagi.
The upper house of the Indian Parliament passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013. The bill was already passed by the lower house on 6th Sept. 2013. The bill aims at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.
Main features of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013 are as follows:
The Provisions of the Bill are aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.
(i) The Bill provides for constitution of a Town Vending Authority in each Local Authority, which is the fulcrum of the Bill, for implementing the provisions of the Bill.
(ii) In order to ensure participatory decision making for aspects relating to street vending activities like determination of natural market, identification of vending zones, preparation of street vending plan, survey of street vendors etc. the TVC is required to have representation of officials and non-officials and street vendors, including women vendors with due representation from SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and persons with disabilities. It has been provided that 40% members of the TVC will be from amongst street vendors to be selected through election, of which one-third shall be women.
(iii) To avoid arbitrariness of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women, persons with disabilities, minorities etc.
(iv) All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5% of the population of the ward or zone or town or city.
(v) Where the number of street vendors identified are more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.
(vi) Those street vendors who have been issued a certificate of vending/license etc. before the commencement of this Act, they will be deemed to be a street vendor for that category and for the period for which he/she has been issued such certificate of vending/license.
(vii) It has been provided that no street vendor will be evicted until the survey has been completed and certificate of vending issued to the street vendors.
(viii) It has also been provided that in case a street vendor, to whom a certificate of vending is issued, dies or suffers from any permanent disability or is ill, one of his family member i.e. spouse or dependent child can vend in his place, till the validity of the certificate of vending.
(ix) Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.
(x) Procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods has been specified and made street vendor friendly. It is proposed to provide for recommendation of the TVC, as a necessary condition for relocation being carried out by the local authority.
(xi) Relocation of street vendors should be exercised as a last resort. Accordingly, a set of principles to be followed for ‘relocation’ is proposed to be provided for in the second Schedule of the Bill, which states that (i) relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is clear and urgent need for the land in question; (ii) affected vendors or their representatives shall be involved in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project; (iii) affected vendors shall be relocated so as to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them, in real terms to pre-evicted levels (iv) natural markets where street vendors have conducted business for over fifty years shall be declared as heritage markets, and the street vendors in such markets shall not be relocated.
(xii) The Local authority is required to make out a plan once in every 5 years, on the recommendation of TVC, to promote a supportive environment and adequate space for urban street vendors to carry out their vocation. It specifically provides that declaration of no-vending zone shall be carried subject to the specified principles namely; any existing natural market, or an existing market as identified under the survey shall not be declared as a no-vending zone; declaration of no-vending zone shall be done in a manner which displaces the minimum percentage of street vendors; no zone will be declared as a no-vending zone till such time as the survey has not been carried out and the plan for street vending has not been formulated. Thus the Bill provides for enough safeguards to protect street vendors interests.
(xiii) The thrust of the Bill is on “natural market”, which has been defined under the Bill. The entire planning exercise has to ensure that the provision of space or area for street vending is reasonable and consistent with existing natural markets.Thus, natural locations where there is a constant congregation of buyers and sellers will be protected under the Bill.
(xiv) There is a provision for establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.
(xv) The Bill provides for time period for release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods. In case of non-perishable goods, the local authority is required to release the goods within two working days and incase of perishable goods, the goods shall be released the same day, of the claim being made.
(xvi) The Bill also provides for promotional measures to be undertaken by the Government, towards availability of credit, insurance and other welfare schemes of social security, capacity building programmes, research, education and training programme etc. for street vendors.
(xvii) Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.
(xviii) The Bill specifically provides that the Rules under the Bill have to be notified within one year of its commencement, and Scheme has to be notified within six months of its commencement to prevent delay in implementation.
Rajasthan joins Delhi in banning FDI in retail
So far, Tesco, which has tied up with Tata Group’s Trent, is the only company to have received government go-ahead for multi-brand retail even as others such as Walmart and Carrefour have preferred to wait on the sidelines. Tesco intends to start operations in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The newly elected BJP government in Rajasthan has communicated its decision against allowing FDI in multi brand retail to the Union commerce and industry ministry, two government officials told ToI.
Principal secretary Veenu Gupta, managing director of RIICO and in charge of the state Bureau of Investment Promotion as commissioner, confirmed that the letter was sent to the ministry on January 25. BJP has been opposed to the policy with states ruled by it, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, deciding against allowing FDI in multi-brand.
Hawkers march to parliament
Hawkers Joint Action Committee is organizing a sit in protest and march to Parliament on 5th February at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi demanding Indian Govt. reversal of FDI retail policy and the passage of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 from the upper house of the parliament. The lower house has already passed the bill on 6th September, 2013. The bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors and regulation of urban street vending.
Article on Delhi Govt. decision to ban FDI Retailers, published on 19 Jan 2014 by Prabhat Khabar, a Hindi daily.
Delhi became the first Indian state to reverse the policy of allowing FDI in multibrand retail. The newly formed Delhi govt. of Aam Admi Party (AAP) has written to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) asking it to remove Delhi from the list of states which have conveyed their agreement to the policy of FDI in multibrand retail.
France based Carrefour and Germany based Metro are already operating
cash & carry wholesale stores in Delhi. Rajasthan, another major state of India is likely to follow the suit.
In another development, more than one thousand hawkers representatives
from various street markets of Delhi participated in a hawkers public
hearing organized by Hawkers Joint Action Committee on 6th January in
In the public hearing Delhi hawkers passed resolution against FDI in
multibrand retail and decided to meet newly formed Delhi Govt. to
reverse the policy decision to allow FDI retailers in Delhi.
Govt. of India has floated a discussion paper on FDI in e-commerce. Paper on e-commerce
One can submit comment by 30th January 2014. Comments can be sent to Mr. Ishtiyaque Ahmed, Director, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.