Street vendors cut up with ‘biased’ panel on relocation

Kathmandu, March 25:

Informal Sector Service Providers (ISSPs), most of them are street vendors, today said they were against a committee formed by the government to relocate the ISSPs.

Shiva Kattel, president of the Federation of National Industries and Commerce (FNIC), said they would submit a memorandum to Home Minister, opposing the formation of the committee to relocate the ISSPs. He accused that the government had formed a biased committee without their consent and representation and that it could not resolve the problems of ISSPs.

“The Home Minister formed the committee only to serve his vested interests,” Kattel said, adding that they would launch an agitation to press the government to dissolve the committee. He also said the package introduced by the government for the ISSPs was just an ‘illusion’ and added that they could not perform their day to day duties on the basis of public-private-partnership. But he admitted that it would be helpful for the sustainable development of the ISSPs. “The government formed the committee to break the unity of more than 6,000 ISSPs. It is a ploy against them,” he alleged, adding, “We had also forwarded our suggestions for the relocation of the ISSPs. But the government didn’t consult us.”

Sangita Baskota, a street vendor near Old Buspark, said the committee should work for the welfare of street vendors like her, as they have no other source of income generation.

Keshav Sthapit, former mayor of the KMC said the committee would start its work from Sunday. He said it would work as per the report of the study committee.

The report has suggested the committee to use the unused government land as per the concept of public-private-partnership, like build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) system, and help transform the informal sector services into respectable professions.

Narayan Gopal Malego, executive officer at the KMC, said no procedure had been developed to relocate the ISSPs so far.