Anex-1. The Bellagio International Declaration of Street Vendors

Having regard to the fact:

  • that in the fast growing urban sector there is a proliferation of poor hawkers and vendors including those who are children;
  • that because of poverty, unemployment and forced migration and immigration, despite the useful service they render to society, they are looked upon as a hindrance to the planned development of cities both by the elite urbanites and the town planners alike;
  • that hawkers and vendors are subjected to constant mental and physical torture by the local officials and are harrassed in many other ways which at times leads to riotous situations, loss of property rights, or monetary loss;
  • that there is hardly any public policy consistent with the needs of street vendors throughout the world.

We urge governments to form a National Policy for hawkers and vendors by making them a part of the broader structural policies aimed at improving their standards of living, by having regard to the following:

  • give vendors legal status by issuing licences, enacting laws and providing appropriate hawking zones in urban plans,
  • provide legal access to the use of appropriate and available space in urban areas,
  • protect and expand vendors' existing livelihood,
  • make street vendors a special component of the plans for urban development by treating them as an integral part of the urban distribution system,
  • issue guidelines for supportive services at local levels,
  • enforce regulations and promote self-governance,
  • set up appropriate, participatory, non-formal mechanisms with representation by street vendors and hawkers, NGOs, local authorities, the police and others,
  • provide street vendors with meaningful access to credit and financial services
  • provide street vendors with relief measures in situations of disasters and natural calamities,
  • take measures for promoting a better future for child vendors and persons with disabilities.

Anex-2. Recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop

Whereas the urban informal sector now constitutes the majority of the urban workforce, of which the street vendors are more than one crore;

And whereas these street vendors, of whom more than 30 per cent are women, provide an important service of supplying all types of commodities especially fresh vegetables, fruits, food items, household goods etc. to the urban population at reasonable prices;

And noting that there has been a decrease in employment in the formal sector, the informal sector is expanding and absorbing these retrenched workers and they are creating their own employment through street vending without putting any burden on the Government;

And recognizing that street vendors have always been part of Indian urban culture of public spaces and services; And whereas the urban informal sector contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the urban economy, the informal sector and the street vendors in particular remain poor, illiterate and treated as illegal and criminals and harassed by the police and municipal authorities, and excluded from all town planning schemes;

And noting that the Supreme Court has declared hawking to be a fundamental right, and has directed cities to constitute schemes to accommodate vendors;

Therefore, to bring these core street vendors into legal mainstream of the urban economy this meeting recommends:

  • Formulation of National Guidelines on Street Vendors and Hawkers for use of Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Nagarpalikas.
  • The policy of the urban local body should move from Removal to Effective Regulation of Street Vendors
  • Legal recognition of Street Vendors by giving them identity cards
  • Surveys in all urban areas to determine the number and locations of street vendors
  • Planning guidelines for State Governments and urban local bodies to reserve certain per cent of land for street vending in all new development plans and to update the existing ones.
  • Guideline should decide the number of vendors required as a percentage of population (approximately 2.5 per cent) and plan the number of vendors to be accommodated.
  • Give priority to women vendors in issuing permission for hawking and vending
  • Recognize and facilitate natural markets
  • Regulate the quality and service provided by the vendors, by regulating the use of space as well as providing facilities for hygiene.
  • Recognizing that harmonious solution can be found by multiple use of space, flexible timings and other creative solutions such as “pay and hawk” and finding many other solutions through best practices in the cities in India and abroad.
  • Promote vending in smaller towns and nagarppalikas by various centrally sponsored schemes
  • Stress upon the importance of dialogue and create forums for discussion of issues between vendors’ associations, urban local bodies, police and local resident associations
  • Set up self-governance mechanisms such as committees and boards to work closely with the municipalities to harmonize the interests of all parties - the vendors, the shopkeepers, the residents, the consumers and the traffic.
  • Set up financing mechanisms where street vendors will pay fees for the use of space on a daily, monthly or yearly basis which will add to the revenue of the city.
  • Once a scheme has been agreed upon, it should be strictly implemented and the violators strictly punished. The officials responsible for implementation should be made accountable.
  • Promote credit schemes and micro-finance for the vendors.


  1. Set up a Task Force to finalize Guidelines for Street Vending. This Task Force will include representatives of vendors’ associations and urban local bodies.
  2. Collect and disseminate information about the best vending practices in India and abroad.
  3. Promote networking of vendors’ associations and work towards consensus on policies.
  4. Promote dialogue with Mayors and Chairs of local bodies.
  5. Promote education of member street vendors about self-regulation and quality of service.

This meeting calls upon all urban local bodies and municipalities to recognize the important contribution of street vendors and to draw up policies and schemes which incorporate them into urban economy and life.

Anex-3. Prime Minister's New Policy for Street Hawkers and Rickshaw Pullers in Delhi

A Concept Note Prepared by the Prime Minister's Office

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). [Both these articles are based on manushi study and facts that emerged through the Lok Sunwayi of street vendors and rickshaw operators]. 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. Shiela 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:

    (i) 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).

    (ii) 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).

    (iii) 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.

    (iv) 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:

  1. 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 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.
  2. 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:

  1. Hawking and cycle rickshaws provide low cost, easily accessible retail and transportation services to urban households. Because of low cost, most of the users are low income households. They are also highly labor 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.
  2. On the other hand, concerns have been expressed about possible social costs of these occupations. These are centered on street congestion, hygiene, and security (petty crime). These are discussed below:
  3. 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 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 to 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.
  4. In any large, heterogeneous city, the market demand for hawking (and cycle rickshaw) services varies by locality, time of day, day of 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 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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:
  2. Technology upgrading: Technology upgrading2 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.
  3. 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 upgradation, 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:

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

    (i) The existing licensing system with quantitative limits must be scrapped forthwith.

    (ii) 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 week, and day of month, and may be 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 Saudan 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 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).

    (iii) 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, letter from an elected representative or citizen in good standing), and (b) payment of a nominal fee to cover costs of issue of 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.

    (iv) 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 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 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 pedaled 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.

    (v) 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.

Anex-4. National Seminar on Impact of Hawking on Traffic Management in Metropolitan Cities

[source: press release, dated 24.11.2001]

The following are the consensus arrived at, in the three technical sessions of the seminar:

  • Identification of hawking spaces and hawking roads by committees consisting of all the stake holders – hawkers, traders, traffic engineers, Academic, Police, Municipal officials, etc., taking into account traffic flow and pedestrian activities.
  • Urban plans should provide for hawking locations in accordance with stipulated standards. Residential zones should include hawking, standards (Ex. 4 to 6 shops and 10 hawkers per 1000 population)
  • Hawkers should be licensed and secondary streets may be earmarked to them. Hawkers may be encouraged to form cooperative societies, which will make allocation of spaces to Hawkers.
  • Urban land in vantage locations should be recycled using the principles of multiple uses. For example, appurtenant spaces in office complexes and education institutions may be used for Hawking during evening times.
  • Encroachment of any types by any one – hawkers, traders or others in no-hawking footpaths and road spaces should be evicted strictly without any discrimination.
  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 and othe Urban Planning Acts do not have any provision to deal with encroachments by Hawkers. Therefore, appropriate provisions have to incorporated in those acts through suitable amendments.
  • Hawkers may be educated and motivated so that they may move out of the sector in future and when their economic situation improves.
  • Hawkers may be facilitated with financial assistance in order to promote their enterprises.
  • Pedestrian precincts may be identified for exclusive use of pedestrians where hawking may be permitted.
  • Extensive studies should be carried out to build city wise data base on the socio-economic conditions and their activities so that they could go as inputs to evolve strategies in respect of hawkers.

Anex-5. Terms of Reference for research study under Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna

1. Title of the Study: Role of Hawkers in the Urban Informal Sector and Internalizing Hawking Activities and Spaces in the City Planning and Development Process

2. Agency Assigned and Project Director:

  • School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
  • Prof. J M Ansari, Professor of Planning

3. Purpose of Assignment: The study will have the following objectives:

  • To examine the nature and extent of hawking activities as part of the urban informal sector in Delhi and its contribution to the economy of the city.
  • To analyse the spatial dimensions of hawking activities in relation to locational attributes, physical characteristics of space, structural condition of establishments and associated urban problems
  • To understand the nature of relationship between planned, informal and hawking activities
  • To evolve guidelines for incorporating hawking activities in city planning and development process and suggest norms and standards for location, layout planning of hawking areas and design of physical structures to accommodate hawking activities
  • To explore the possibilities of incorporating the Urban Informal Sector like Hawking into the Scheme of SJSRY
  • The access of street vendors to institutional credit, rate of interest at present usually paid by them to the moneylenders; scope and modality of improving such access
  • The problem of space, the importance of location and monthly rental for alternative locations when offered by Govt. or local bodies the solution to such problems whether night hawking or hawking on holidays can be considered in central districts of major cities as one of the options
  • Impact of globalisation and consequent redundancy of the informal sector
  • Protecting the hawkers from unauthorised harassment by various agencies

4. Programme to be suited: To carry out detailed research to analyse:

  • The nature and types of hawking activities
  • Behavioral pattern of hawkers, their role in the economy of cities, and perceptions of people about their usefulness to the society
  • The location pattern of hawking areas, associated urban problems and physical characteristics of spaces and establishments used for hawking activities, and
  • Legal and institutional framework to integrate hawking activities in the city planning and development process

5. Agency for Reviewing the Study: UPA Division, Ministry of Urban Development, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi

6. Duration of the Project: Twelve months only from the date of commissioning the study and release of first installment

7. Total funds approved for the study: Rs.4.20 lakhs (Rupees four lakh and twenty thousand only) (All inclusive)

8. End Product: A comprehensive report in triplicate along with computer floppy

9. Release of funds: Funds for the study would be released in three installments i.e. 40%, 40% and 20%. The first installment (40%) of the grant will be released after SPA communicates its acceptence of terms of reference. Next 40% is to be released on submission of the draft report to the Ministry. The final 20% ias to be released on submission of the final report and its acceptance by the Ministry. DPA is required to submit an un-audited expenditure report after receipt of final payment. The audited statement of accounts shall be submitted as quickly as possible after close of the financial year.