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National/International Efforts for Street Vendors

There are a large number of street vendors all over the world. There are more than a billion street vendors around the world selling everything from goat milk to SIM cards to auto repair services. Many cities around the world are managing street business and some of examples are as follows:

1. India
In 2009, neighboring country India created its first national policy on urban street business management. The aim of the policy was to control the unorganized crowd and garbage caused by unorganized street vendors in urban areas and to create an accommodating environment for them to do business by managing street vendors.

In 2014, India planned to set up a Town Vending Committee (TVC) for the protection and regulation of street vendors in line with the same policy. It was arranged that the head of the local level, executive officer, street vendors, representatives of the local welfare committee, and representatives of various community committees will participate in the committee. The participation of at least 40 percent of the total members of the committee was made mandatory by the officials of the street vendors’ organization and at least 20 percent by the officials of the local welfare committee. The Town Vending Committee (TVC) was arranged to inspect and determine the area of street business, to register the business, to monitor the comfort of citizens and pedestrians and to collect revenue from street vendors.
In 2014, India also enacted the ‘Indian Sidewalk Traders (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014’. Compulsory formation of Town Vending Committees (TVC) in every city has created the responsibility of the committee to determine the areas of local street vendors and determine the fees, necessary documents and/or licenses. The TVC can issue licenses to street vendors and has the right to suspend them if they violate the conditions mentioned. However, the Act has not been implemented in most Indian cities and TVCs have not been installed everywhere.

2. Thailand
All street vendors in Thailand must be registered with the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration). All street vendors are required to obtain a compulsory license. There is a provision to take a license in the name of only 2 people, one owner and one assistant. Street Vendors have to pay local currency 300 per square meter per month for waste management caused by street business and maintenance of public space. Due to this policy arrangement, footpath traders are paying taxes to the government and are able to do business on the street easily.

Bangkok was once seen as a model city for inclusive street business management that created a win-win situation for employment, business and tourism. In Bangkok neighborhoods and other Thai cities, street business has been very effectively integrated into urban planning. Local sidewalk vendors and district officials work together to strictly enforce rules regarding hours of business, waste management, sanitation and fee collection. Street business provides a source of revenue; 2000 (local currency) per month for sale of food items and 1000 (local currency) per month for sale of non-food items.

3. Singapore
According to Singapore’s Public Environmental Health Policy, street vendors must be registered and must operate legally. Licensing of vendors is done at the National Environment Agency (NEA). The NEA is responsible for managing the street business, and licensing and regulating street vendors. Vendors must get permission from Urban Redevelopment in NEA and confirm location in order to do business on the street. Food related stalls should be environmentally friendly. Registration of a new business should have at least one witness who has previously registered their business. The vendor shall not have any liability towards the Central Provident Fund (CPF). (CPF is a mandatory contribution fund for workers and permanent residents in Singapore.)

4. Indonesia
The city of Bandung is the capital of the West Java province of Indonesia. The area of Bandung city is 167.2965 square kilometers. Bandung city’s economy depends on tourism business, industry, manufacturing industry, educational institutions, and pharmacy and food production. According to the latest data, the population of the city is around 1.7 million. The population density of the city is more than ten thousand per square kilometer.

In 2011, a special task force under the mayor was formed to implement policies to manage street vendors in the city of Bandung, Indonesia. If there was no proper management of the street business, the beauty of the city would be affected, so the task force was responsible for arranging the business environment in a legal and orderly manner without removing the street vendors from their business. The task force was named Satagus in the local language.
Policies adopted for footpath management in Bandung city:

a) Location specific management
The task force formed for the management of Bandung city street business first classified the street into three areas as Red Zone, Yellow Zone and Green Zone. From the point of view of traffic safety, the red zone is a sensitive road where business is completely prohibited. In the Yellow Zone, it has been determined that business can be placed and removed based on time and place. In the Green Zone, street businesses are allowed to operate.

b) Characteristics and Classification of street vendors
Street vendors in Bandung City are classified based on the specialty of the business. It was categorized based on characteristics such as mobile (having temporary business premises, removable parts), convenience goods, luxury goods, food, personal service etc. Different types of sidewalk businesses are placed in different locations. Customers can go by location to purchase the item they want.

c) Special Task Force
The task force formed under the authority of the mayor of the local level has been given the responsibility of managing, controlling, regulating, promoting and supervising the street business.

d) Street Vendors ID card
Mandatory identity card has been arranged for all those doing sidewalk business in the Green Zone. In order to operate a sidewalk business in that area, only those Indonesian citizens who have been residents of Bandung city for at least five years can get a license.

e) Penalty to customer
Consumers are also penalized for buying goods from street businesses at any time from the Red Zone and from any time except for the specified time in the Yellow Zone. The task force has allowed street businesses to operate at any time only in the Green Zone and there is a rule that everyone who does street business in that area must get a mandatory ID card.

5. Ghana
In Ghana, the local government and its Ministry of Rural Development adopted the National Urban Policy Framework (2012) to outline urban policy priorities. The ministry is committed to changing the official approach of dealing with informal enterprises in an effort to promote urban economic development. It ensures that urban planning addresses the needs of the informal sector and provides them with serviced spaces that provide facilities such as water, toilets and storage in competitive locations.

The overarching law regulating street business in Ghana is section 462 of the Local Government Act 1993, which empowers local assemblies (local authorities) to pass by-laws and carry out their mandate in terms of the Act. These include by-laws that permit or prohibit certain activities within their jurisdiction. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Public Markets By-laws and AMA (Control of Hawkers) By-laws, 2017 regulate street businesses. The by-laws prohibit street business in unannounced public places and authorize the AMA to publish notices permitting sidewalk business on specific streets.

(This article is prepared on the basis of the study done by Hriti Foundation on ‘Situation of Street Vendor in Birendranagar: Policy Obstacles and Remedy of the Solutions’. Five articles will be published in this series.)

Street Businesses Management in Birendranagar : Street businesses are helping hands for poor people (Part 1)

Street Business: Problem or Opportunity for Self Employment? (Part 2)