(Premium) Gist of Press Information Bureau: December 2013

Premium - Gist of Press Information Bureau: December 2013


The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal for setting up of the Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) as an independent charitable society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to facilitate and upscale civil society action in partnership with Government for transforming livelihoods and lives of rural households, with an emphasis on women, particularly in the Central Indian Tribal Region.

It will provide financial grants to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to meet their human resource and institutional costs for upscaling of proven interventions; invest in institutional strengthening of smaller CSOs and capacity building of professional resources working at the grassroots.

Projects supported by BRLF would be able to reach 10 lakh poor families by the end of the fifth year. BRLF would also have supported the capacity building of 1,000 CSO professionals and institutional strengthening of a significant number of smaller CSOs within the above time frame.

Even though BRLF will have an India wide mandate, the initial focus of the organization will be on the Central Indian Tribal Region, centered on blocks having significant tribal population across 170 districts in the States of Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Rs 500 crore will be released for creating the corpus fund of the new Society, in two tranches. The society will be constituted as a partnership between Government on the one hand and private sector philanthropies, private and public sector undertakings (under Corporate Social Responsibility) on the other hand. The proposal was earlier considered by Cabinet on 18th April 2013 and referred to a Group of Ministers under chairmanship of the Finance Minister. The GoM in its meeting held on 21st August 2013 has recommended the proposal.


The Land Acquisition Bill, which has been renamed as "The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012 has a separate Chapter to protect the interests of tribals and those belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Where acquisition does take place it shall be done as a demonstrable last resort. The Bill stipulates that as far as possible no acquisition shall take place in the Scheduled Areas. And where such acquisition does take place it has to be done with the approval/ consent of the local institutions of self-governance (including the autonomous councils where they exist).

Following measures have been incorporated in the Bill to protect the interests and concerns of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes:

Development Plan: A Development Plan has to be prepared laying down the details of procedure for settling land rights due but not settled and restoring titles of tribals on alienated land by undertaking a special drive together with land acquisition. The Plan must also contain a programme for development of alternate fuel, fodder and nontimber forest produce resources on non-forest lands within a period of five years sufficient to meet the requirements of tribal communities as well as the Scheduled Castes.

One-third to be paid up-front: In case of land being acquired from members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, at least one-third of the compensation amount due shall be paid to the affected families at the outset as first instalment and the rest shall precede the taking over of the possession of the land.

Resettlement in the same Scheduled Area: The Scheduled Tribes affected families shall be resettled preferable in the same Scheduled Area in a compact block so that they can retain their ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity.

Land for Community: The resettlement areas predominantly inhabited by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall get land, to such extent as may be decided by the appropriate Government free of cost for community and social gatherings.

Alienation Of Tribal Lands To Be Void: Any alienation of tribal lands or lands belonging to members of the Scheduled Castes in disregard of the laws and regulations for the time being in force shall be treated as null and void: and in the case of acquisition of such lands, the rehabilitation and resettlement benefits shall be available to the original tribal land owners or land owners belonging to the Scheduled Castes.

Fishing Rights: The affected Scheduled Tribes, other traditional forest dwellers and the Scheduled Castes families having fishing rights in a river or pond or dam in the affected area shall be given fishing rights in the reservoir area of the irrigation or hydel projects.

If Resettled Outside Scheduled Area Then Additional Benefits: Where the affected families belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes are relocated outside of the district then they shall be paid an additional twenty-five per cent rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to which they are entitled in monetary terms along with a one-time entitlement of fifty thousand rupees Higher Land-for-Land Area for SCs/STs: In
every project those losing land and belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes will be provided land equivalent to land acquired or two and a one-half acres, whichever is lower (this is higher than in the case of non-SC/ST affected families) Additional Amounts: In addition to a subsistence amount of rupees 3000 per month for a year (which all affected families get), the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes displaced from
Scheduled Areas shall receive an amount equivalent to rupees 50,000.


1.Q: Why the need for a Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 , which has been passed by the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded session. ?

Ans: 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 and they try to solve their livelihood issues through their own meagre financial resources and sweat equity. Considering the significant contribution made by street vendors to the urban society as a whole, more specifically to the comparatively poorer sections, and to enable them to earn a decent livelihood through creation of conditions for decent work, the Government of India proposed a Bill, which provides for protection of livelihood rights and provision for social security of street vendors in the country.

2.Q: What are main provisions of the Bill?

Ans: The Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and provides that no street vendor shall be evicted or relocated, till the survey is completed and a certificate of vending issued to all street vendors. Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.

3.Q: Does the Bill protect the street vendors from the harassment by police and municipal authorities?

Ans: Yes the Bill provides for a specific section protecting the street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities. A clause in the Bill specifically provides for the following:

"Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no street vendor who carries on the street vending activities in accordance with the terms and conditions of his certificate of vending shall be prevented from exercising such rights by any person or police or any other authority exercising powers under any other law for the time being in force"

4.Q: The implementing Authority is the Town Vending Committee. Is there a grievance redressal mechanism to hear appeals from the decisions of the Town Vending Committee, for e.g. if a street vendor is denied a certificate of vending, where does he go?

Ans: The Bill provides for a non-judicial grievance redressal mechanism. In respect of decisions of the Town Vending Committee refusing to issue a certificate of vending to a street vendor or resorts to cancellation or suspension under the provisions of the law, the aggrieved street vendor may prefer an appeal to the local authority.

5.Q: The Bill is titled Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation) of Street Vending Bill. Does the Bill provide for responsibilities of street vendors towards the city?

Ans: Yes, the Bill provides for specific responsibilities and duties street vendors. Street Vendors are required to maintain cleanliness and public hygiene in the vending zones and the adjoining areas, to maintain civic amenities and public property in the vending zone in good condition and not damage or destroy or cause any damage or destruction to the same, pay maintenance charges, not to vend in no-vending zones etc. The Bill along with protecting the livelihood rights of street vendors also provides for suitable planning measures to ensure the right of commuters to move freely and use the roads without any impediment.

6.Q: Does the Bill protect the street vendors wares and belonging from damage, as many a times it is seen that the authorities just collect their belongings and the street vendors have to run around placed to ensure their release. In case of perishable goods, if not returned in time they are destroyed and the street vendors suffers irreparable damage.

Ans: Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has been conscious of this difficulty faced by the street vendors. In fact in various representations that we received from the street vending community, they highlighted and express the need for specific provisions in regard to seizure and reclaiming of goods.

Seizure of goods has been provided as a last resort action by the local authorities, more so only after complying with a 30 days' notice period to be issued by the local authority to the street vendor. The Bill specifically provides that where seizure is carried out, a list of goods seized shall be prepared, and a copy thereof duly signed by the person authorized to seize the goods, shall be issued to the street vendor.

The street vendor thereafter has the right to reclaim him goods, after paying due fine. It also provides that in case of non-perishable goods, the local authority shall release the goods within two working days of the claim being made by the street vendor, and in case of perishable goods the local authority shall release the goods on the same day of the claim being made by the street vendor. The Bill thus adequately protects the street
vendors in case of seizure of goods.

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