Offer better relief package to registered hawkers: Hawkers Union to Maharashtra gov’t 

While thanking the government for considering street vendors' concerns during new coronavirus restrictions, Mumbai’s hawkers asked Chief Minister Thackeray to reconsider the relief package.


Reconsider the financial assistance provided for hawkers during the lockdown period as well as the criteria of those eligible for this assistance, appealed Azad Hawkers Union Chairman Dayashankar Singh on April 16, 2021.

In a letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh thanked the state government for considering hawkers during April’s lockdown restrictions and announcing a monetary relief package for the same. However, he pointed out that the package of Rs. 1,500 per registered hawker was a meager supply to account for month-long rations. Further, he said that many hawkers also lost out on the packages due to pending surveys of eligible hawkers.

“Small-scale hawkers, who are living on wages, are going to suffer huge losses in this year’s layoffs. Their financial losses after the previous lockdown are still not fully recovered. This second lockdown could ruin their lives,” said Singh.

On April 13, the state government under Thackeray announced stricter guidelines in light of rising cases. He mentioned that essential services, including some hawkers will be allowed to continue work. Further, the government will spend at least Rs. 5,200 crore on providing financial assistance to the poor working class.

Under the PM SVANidhi Yojana, Rs. 1,500 will be sent to at least five lakh hawkers in the state. However, as Singh pointed out, the scheme does not account for unregistered hawkers who far outnumber registered street vendors.

The last survey in 2014 declared 17,641 street vendors out of 99,435 applicants eligible for a vending certificate. Outstanding applicants still wait for the day that they receive their certificates under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 that recognises receipts of the fee levied on vendors as a valid document to prove their eligibility for a vending certificate.

For this reason, the hawkers group requested the government to consider all hawkers in the public scheme while observing lockdown-like restrictions to address the issue of rising coronavirus cases.


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