Hawkers Honour Minister

The Union Cabinet has approved the revised Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2013, a legislation to protect the livelihood of street vendors and provide them more legal vending space in urban areas.

Once it becomes law, unabated harassment of street vendors and hawkers and their extortion by police and municipal officials will hopefully end. As demanded by the Hawkers Joint Action Committee, Mr. Ajay Maken, the central minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation has fixed the norms for providing vending/hawking licences to 2.5% of city population. The reworked Bill makes it mandatory to form town and zonal vending committee in every city. Such committees would include 40% elected representatives of vendor groups, 10% NGOs and rest comprising town planners, administrators, police and elected people’s representatives.

Leaders of hawkers Joint Action Committee honoured the central minister for getting the revised bill approved from the cabinet and asked to table it before the parliament as soon as possible. The minister has assured the Hawkers delegation that the bill will be introduced to the parliament sooner than later.

Hawkers Leaders honouring Minister Ajay Maken on 7th May for getting the Hawkers Bill approved from Cabinet


People should oppose FDI in retail: Mahasweta Devi


Kolkata, May 21 — Supporting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to withdraw from the UPA last September on the issue of FDI in retail, eminent writer Mahasweta Devi Tuesday exhorted people from all walks of life to protest against the measure.

“Of course, I support our chief minister’s decision to withdraw from the centre on FDI. I think everybody should protest against it. People from all walks of life should contribute in their own way in standing up against it,” Mahasweta Devi said while launching a book “FDI-Gobhir Shorjontror Shikar Aamra” (FDI-We are a target of conspiracy).

The 89-year-old Jnanpith awardee suggested tapping into indigenous resources for India’s growth and development.

“We have sufficient resources. If we use them properly then India can walk on a path of progress and development,” she said.

Mahasweta Devi said she was “somewhat satisfied” with the state government’s stance on introduction of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail.

Commending the Trinamool Congress for “trying” to bring about changes during its two years in power, she said it is too early to comment on its impact.

“It’s too early to comment. It has just completed two years. It hasn’t done too good or anything worth praising nor it has done anything bad worth criticising.

“It’s trying… let’s just say that,” she added.

Trinamool Congress Monday completed two years in power in West Bengal.


Let’s Stop Walmart Corruption

As you know, Walmart is now in India. But Walmart is bad for small scale producers and retailers, which are the backbone of the great Indian economy. Like the Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar said,  “In India too, [Walmart] will kill the small scale producers.”

Walmart is also one of the most corrupt corporations in the world. Last year a New York Times story revealed how Walmart bribed and corrupted officials at all levels of government in order to enter Mexico. According to the article, “The Times’s examination reveals that Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals. Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.”

A big corporation “using bribes to subvert democratic governance” is the last thing India needs now, while citizens, civic leaders and even some politicians are working to make the government less corrupt. Between a corrupt Walmart and a corrupt government there is certainly illegal conduct happening or going to happen that will help the corporation and hurt India.

The good news is we can stop it. Did you know that you can make money from exposing Walmart corruption in India? The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery of foreign officials by major American and foreign companies. Whistleblowers who report violations can recover a large reward for exposing FCPA violations. For example, if you expose a bribe for a new investment worth one crore, you could win ten to thirty lakh. All you need to do is to click www.walmart-corruption.com.

Share this page with your family and friends, and let them know that they can help stop corruption in India. And you just might win some money too! Let’s keep corruption out!