Allow street vendors to sell essentials: CentreUpdated: Apr 03, 2020, 23:42 IST
The Centre on Friday cited the risk of livelihood loss and issued an advisory asking states and Union territories to allow street vendors to sell essential items and encourage their home deliver during the ongoing 21-day lockdown imposed to halt the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
A supply crunch of consumer items has cascaded across states, as buyers, rich and poor, scour markets for everyday needs amid the sweeping lockdown. The lockdown has also left tens of thousands of migrant workers jobless and forced many of them to leave big cities for their homes on foot.
“The urban street vendors are facing the risk of losing their livelihoods during the period of lockdown. They play an important role in the supply of essential items like groceries, fruits and vegetables to the citizens at affordable prices,” the Centre said in a letter to chief secretaries. The letter, (a copy of which HT has seen?) said authorities have been encouraged to facilitate home delivery of the essentials and minimize movement of individuals outside their homes.
The Centre said the street vendors carrying valid identity cards or certificates of vending may be allowed to carry on their businesses subject to restrictions imposed. The urban local bodies have already identified the vendors as per provisions of the Street Vendor’s Act, 2014, and issued certificates of vending and ID Cards, it added.
Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri said the street vendors need to ensure the cleanliness of carts, personal hygiene, regular use of sanitisers and social distancing norms. “These operations will be subject to restrictions imposed by district authorities. However, restrictions will continue on street food vendors, as they may result in the congregation of persons and violations of lockdown.”
The Union home ministry on March 29 asked the states to allow transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential during the lockdown.