Saturday, September 7, 2013

Street Vendors Bill, 2012 passed by Lok Sabha

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Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 passed by Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha today passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 . The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Moving the Bill for consideration and Passing in the house today, Dr. Girija Vyas, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, said “Street vendors constitute an integral part of our urban economy. Street vending is not only a source of self-employment to the poor in cities and towns but also a means to provide ‘affordable’ as well as ‘convenient’ services to a majority of the urban population, especially the common man. Street vendors are often those who are unable to get regular jobs in the remunerative formal sector on account of their low level of education and skills. They try to solve their livelihoods issues through their own meagre financial resources and sweat equity.
Given the pace of urbanization and the opportunities presented through the development of urban areas, the growth of street vendors’ population is likely to have an upward trend. She said “ It is vital that these vendors are enabled to pursue their livelihoods in a congenial and harassment free atmosphere. Inclusive growth strategy adopted by the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans calls for a facilitating mechanism for street vending to aid economic growth and inclusion simultaneously.”
Main features of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 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.
The Bill is aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for street vendors to do their business in dignity and is likely to help in giving livelihood protection to about 1 crore families.
Background :
Considering the significant contribution made by street vendors to the urban society, and to enable them to earn a decent livelihood through creation of conditions for decent work, without causing obstruction to the public and to reflect the spirit of the Constitution of India on the right of citizens to equal protection before the law as well as their right to practice any profession, occupation, trade or business, the Government of India revised the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004 and brought out the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009.
The revised Policy was circulated to all States/UTs for implementation after, the approval of the Union Cabinet on 23th February, 2009. The revised Policy underscored the need for a legislative framework to enable street vendors to pursue an honest living without harassment. Accordingly, a Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009 was prepared by the Government of India. The Model Bill was also approved by the Union Cabinet on 23th February 2009 and was circulated to all States for taking a cue while legislating on the subject.
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has been receiving continuous representations from individual street vendors and their organizations to bring a central legislation, which would be applicable to all the states and UTs. Therefore, for giving a national recognition to the contribution of street vendors and to ensure uniformity in the legal framework for street vending across States, a Central law on street vending is considered essential.
Regional level consultations were organized on the subject of implementation of National Policy on Street Vendors and legislative framework for street vending in Patna on 4th-5th March, 2011, Mumbai on 24th September, 2011, and Delhi on 18.11.2011 which were attended by representatives from State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, NGOs, Civil Society, International Organizations, Experts, Members of Street Vendors Associations etc.
A National Consultation was also held in New Delhi on 23rd December 2011 to seek the views / comments of various stakeholders, including representatives of Street Vendors’ organizations and street vendors themselves on the salient features of the proposed legislation in order to evolve an effective and practical central law for the protection of livelihood rights and social security of street vendors. The suggestions and recommendations received covered a wide variety of measures relating to providing a conducive framework for street vending.
Accordingly, a new legislation namely ‘Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012’ was drafted under entries 20 (economic and social planning), 23 (social security and social insurance; employment and unemployment), and 24 (welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers liability, workmen’s compensation, invalidity and old age pensions and maternity benefits) of List III of the Constitution. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The draft Bill, was circulated to States/UTs on 29.02.2012 for comments. It was also discussed and deliberated during a National Consultation of Housing/Urban Development Ministers of States and UTs on the 28th of April, 2012, which was attended by 22 States, and received wide acceptance and support.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, as approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 17th August 2012, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 6th September 2012.
The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Urban Development on the 10th September 2012. The said Standing Committee presented its 23rd Report on the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 to the Lok Sabha and laid on the table of Rajya Sabha on 13th March 2013.
The Standing Committee has made in all 26 recommendations. The recommendations made by the Standing Committee were considered by my Ministry and it was proposed to accept 17 recommendations fully, 3 recommendations in part or with modifications, and 6 recommendations are not proposed to be accepted.

G 20 divided on military action against Syria

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BRICS bloc of emerging economies – Brazil, India and South Africa – also voiced their firm opposition to the possibility of a US-led military strike.
Any action on Syria should be taken within the UN framework, and only after the UN releases the results of the chemical weapons investigation, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed.
While condemning the use of chemical weapons by any party, Singh told G20 leaders that one needs to be certain what has really happened in Syria, according to Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who spoke to reporters at the summit.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (AFP Photo / G20RUSSIA)
Nearly half of the world’s population firmly opposed military action against Syria without a UN mandate, the US kept pushing for a strike, claiming that many countries represented at the G20 summit were “comfortable” with it.
Although discussion of the Syrian conflict was never officially on the G20 agenda, world leaders used their statements and speeches to outline their stance on a possible US-led military strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the notion that there was a 50/50 split of opinion on the issue, alluding that leaders of the majority of the world’s largest economies clearly stated their opposition to military intervention in Syria.
Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa were among the countries that openly spoke out against military action not authorized by the UN Security Council, Putin revealed.
Putin himself said that he believes the alleged chemical weapons attack was nothing more than “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.”
During his closing speech at the G20 summit, the Russian President pointed out that the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation – Indonesia – was among those “categorically opposed” to a strike against Syria.
Indonesia has been calling on the international community to refrain from extrajudicial justice on Syria, and to wait until UN investigators publish the results of their work.
Indonesia’s stance is clear. President Yudhoyono has said that, while affirming that the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians cannot be accepted, we need to ensure who actually carried out the attacks. In this sense, we should wait for the UN’s inspection team to announce the result of its investigation,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in a statement published on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s official website.   China has consistently opposed a military solution for the Syrian crisis, joining Russia in its belief that any action must be based on the UN investigation and authorized by the UN Security Council.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told RT at the summit that it is “vitally important” that any move on Syria be based on the UN investigation, stressing that China is “against the use of chemical weapons by any countries or organizations.”
China and Russia are both appealing to the countries concerned to be serious about the possible consequences of the use of military means without the mandate of the UN Security Council,” Qin added, reminding that recent history has shown that such means “can’t solve a complicated issue like Syria.”
Meanwhile, China’s vice finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, has warned that a strike would have a negative impact on the global economy and “cause a hike in the oil price.”  China has consistently opposed a military solution for the Syrian crisis, joining Russia in its belief that any action must be based on the UN investigation and authorized by the UN Security Council.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told RT at the summit that it is “vitally important” that any move on Syria be based on the UN investigation, stressing that China is “against the use of chemical weapons by any countries or organizations.”
China and Russia are both appealing to the countries concerned to be serious about the possible consequences of the use of military means without the mandate of the UN Security Council,” Qin added, reminding that recent history has shown that such means “can’t solve a complicated issue like Syria.”
Meanwhile, China’s vice finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, has warned that a strike would have a negative impact on the global economy and “cause a hike in the oil price.”

Obama openly brought up the issue at both bilateral meetings and in discussions on the summit’s sidelines. The US President’s conclusions on the global opinion contradicted that of President Putin’s.
I would say that the majority of the room is comfortable with our conclusion that Assad – the Assad government – is responsible for their [chemical weapons] use. Obviously this is disputed by President Putin, but if you polled the leaders last night, I’m confident that you’d get a majority who said it’s most likely, we are confident that the Assad regime used them,” Obama said.
Just as the G20 summit was closing up, the White House promptly published a joint statement signed by the leaders and representatives of 11 nations – ten of whom are G20 members. The signees included Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The statement condemned “in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21,” adding that “evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack.”
It called “for a strong international response to this grave violation of the world’s rules and conscience that will send a clear message that this kind of atrocity can never be repeated.” 
The signatory nations said they “support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.” 
However, another part of the statement clearly contradicted the current American stance on military action against Syria.
Recognizing that Syria’s conflict has no military solution, we reaffirm our commitment to seek a peaceful political settlement through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique.  We are committed to a political solution which will result in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria.”
It also remained unclear whether all the parties shared a common understanding of what constitutes a “strong international response.”
Earlier last week, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta stressed that Italy would not participate in a strike against Damascus “if the United Nations doesn’t back it.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that he “will act accordingly” after British MPs rejected the government’s motion to support a military action against Syria.
Cameron on Friday again hinted at the possibility of bypassing the UN Security Council on the strike, saying that relying on the body whose decision hinges on a potential Russian veto would be a very misguided approach.”
Media agencies


 

7092013
 Peugeot 308 will make its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show on 10th September 2013, when more information about this innovative new model will be released. Sales will start shortly afterwards in mainland Europe and from January 2014 in the UK.
Kind regards,
 
Camilla
 
Camilla Harrison-Allen
 
 
 
The 10 Group / ISEBOX
5th Floor, 13-14 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8RN
DL: 0207 637 0656


 

7092013
 
Sardar Sarovar: Submergence and Rehabilitation 
Hundreds of Oustees gherao Kukshi, Manavar, Dharampuri Tehsil Offices
 
Oustees issue Legal Notice to authorities: Demand Compensation and Rehabilitation
 
6th Sep, 2013: The illegal submergence in the densely populated villages of Nimad region in the last week of August has spurred a series of mass actions by the Sardar Sarovar project-affected families – hundreds of poor landless labourers, fish workers, potters, adivasis and other farmers who have not yet been ensured complete rehabilitation with alternative land, house plots, amenities at resettlement sites, alternative livelihood etc. This is a complete violation of the Narmada Tribunal Award and Supreme Court’s Judgements.
 
After more than 500 families gheroed the Badwani Collectorate, the oustees in three Tehsils of Dhar District – Manavar, Kukshi and Dharampuri took out huge rallies and stormed into the offices of the SDM / Tehsildar, demanding answers for the sudden and illegal release of reservoir waters from the upstream dams, leading to inhuman submergence of their farms with standing crop, houses, household items, fodder, food grainsfishing nets etc. They also questioned the virtual lack of relief services and disaster preparedness of the administration and challenged the fake claims of rehabilitation by the Narmada Valley Development Authority.  
On 2nd September, at Manavar Tehsil the SDM and Naib Tehsildar had to face a volley of questions from the women and men, who came in hundreds from the villages of Ekalwara, Semalda, Gangli, Kavthi, Perkhad etc. It was only when the Naib Tehsildar finally agreed that Panchanamas would be recorded that the oustees returned, after a severe warning to the authorities that if action would not follow, struggle shall intensify.
 
On 4th September, at Kukshi, almost 800 oustees, largely women from the villages of Chikalda, Nisarpur, Karondia, Kothada, Koteshwar, Gehelgaon, Khaparkheda, Bajrikheda, Malwadi, Bodhwada etc. grilled the SDM, Tehsildar and R&R Officer for almost 5 hours and exposed the rampant corruption in the R&R process. As arguments became heated, the MLA, Mr. Mukam Singh Kirade also arrived at the spot and spoke to the Collector. After this, the SDM assured that video-recording of the affected houses and properties would be the done, administration will consider the process of recording Panchanamas and 50 kgs of food grains will be given to all the affected families immediately.  
On 6th September, at Dharampuri, almost 500 women and men marched through the main streets and reached the office of the Tehsildar, where the Asst. R&R Officer was also called and the due not only listed to the woes, but also faced the wrath of the women, who said that to this day (since 23rd August) their kitchen fires have not been lit and the Government, which has been making hollow claims of rehabilitation, did not care to even visit the villages when water was released in the midnight !
 
In response to the illegal position taken by officials that since all the properties (lands and houses) in question, have been ‘acquired’, Panchanamas cannot be recorded, the oustees shot back by saying that, “Mere land acquisition is not rehabilitation. As per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, until rehabilitation is complete, no properties can be submerged and the oustees have every right to continue to reside in their original villages, cultivate the lands and the State must compensate them for any illegal submergence that occurs before complete lawful rehabilitation.  
At all the three Tehsils, the oustees also issued Legal Notice to the SDM, Tehsildar and R&R Officer and also another Legal Notice to the Collector, District Dhar to immediately ensure that the Panchanamas of all losses / impacts are duly recorded as per the Revenue Book Circular (RBC) Rules and the oustees are duly compensated. The oustees have issued an ultimatum to the authorities that if their demands are not met soon, the struggle would be intensified and cases would be instituted against the officials in Courts.
 
Contact: 09179148973 / 09826811982


 

7092013

 M6.0 – BATAN ISLANDS REGION, PHILIPPINES

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude6.0
Date-Time
  • 6 Sep 2013 11:33:53 UTC
  • 6 Sep 2013 19:33:54 near epicenter
  • 6 Sep 2013 15:33:53 standard time in your timezone
Location20.189N 122.314E
Depth178 km
Distances
  • 43 km (26 mi) ESE of Uyugan, Philippines
  • 214 km (132 mi) NNE of Aparri, Philippines
  • 217 km (134 mi) NE of Claveria, Philippines
  • 258 km (159 mi) SE of Hengchun, Taiwan
  • 634 km (393 mi) NNE of Manila, Philippines
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 11.7 km; Vertical 8.3 km


 

7092013

 Quake of M6.5 – hit GUATEMALA

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude6.5
Date-Time
  • 7 Sep 2013 00:13:30 UTC
  • 6 Sep 2013 18:13:30 near epicenter
  • 7 Sep 2013 04:13:30 standard time in your timezone
Location14.668N 92.075W
Depth67 km
Distances
  • 6 km (3 mi) SW of Pajapita, Guatemala
  • 8 km (4 mi) E of Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala
  • 20 km (12 mi) NE of Suchiate, Mexico
  • 22 km (13 mi) W of Coatepeque, Guatemala
  • 168 km (104 mi) W of Guatemala City, Guatemala
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 11.5 km; Vertical 5.8 km


 

7092013
Organizing for Action
Naresh –
Don’t take it from me that gun violence prevention organizers won the August congressional recess:
Just ask the gun lobby.
They were so nervous about our hundreds of grassroots events, they sent out guidance to their members to try to counter our work.
Suffice it to say: This is why our organizing matters. It’s also why we can’t back down now that we have some momentum. Passing legislation in Congress means facing down some powerful, well-funded interests. (They just happen to be special interests who are worried about what we’re up to, too.)
The most heartening thing about August is that, from coast to coast, OFA organizers were recognized for their amazing work.
Local press took notice, because nearly every community has experienced the tragedies of gun violence.
We won August because of you — because it matters to you that we pass legislation to keep our children safe. And maybe because of the work we do, Congress will take action, so more families won’t have to grieve the loss of a loved one.
While the gun lobby is planning their efforts to beat back our progress, now’s the best time to keep fighting.
Today, I’m hoping that means you’ll chip in $5 or more right now:
Thanks,
Jon
Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

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