Street Vendors Act

Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to regulate street vendors in public areas and protect their rights.

  • 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.
  • To avoid arbitrariness of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors in the vending zones subject to a norm-conforming to 2.5% of the population of the ward or zone or town or city, where the number of street vendors more, draw of lots for issuing the certificate and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Bill provides the time period for release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods. In the case of non-perishable goods, the local authority is required to release the goods within two working days and in case of perishable goods, the goods shall be released the same day, of the claim being made.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill

surrogacyThe proposed law aims for legitimate regulation and supervision of ART(Assisted Reproductive Technology) facilities and banks in the nation to prevent abusing of this innovation, including surrogacy, and for safe and moral practice of these services. 

Eligibility
The Government of India has suggested that surrogacy for the foreigner in India should not be permitted and surrogacy shall only be permissible to overseas citizens of India (OCIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs), non-resident Indians (NRIs) and any foreigner married to an Indian citizen.

The eligible couple will have to produce an appropriately notarized agreement with the prospective Indian surrogate mother. Further, they need to sign an undertaking that they would take care of the child conceived through surrogacy.

For foreigner married to an Indian, the Bill makes it obligatory for the couple to be married with the marriage sustaining for at least 2 years. They will further need to submit certificate attested by an appropriate government authority of that country, conveying that the woman is not able to conceive.

Citizenship
The Government has likewise said that the child born to a foreigner married to an Indian resident by sperm or egg donation, or surrogacy in India won’t be an Indian citizen, in spite of being born in India, and will be entitled to Overseas Citizenship of India under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

National Registry
The draft Bill also establishes the National Registry. The registry will maintain a central database which will contain details of ART clinics and ART banks. ART clinics will be responsible for carrying out ART procedures. The ART banks will be responsible for supply of gametes and surrogate mothers to ART clinics.

As per ART Bill, any woman agreeing to go about as a surrogate shall be duty-bound for all relavent activities, including unprotected sex that may harm the foetus during pregnancy and the child after birth, until the time the child is handed over to the designated commissioning couple.

The last date for submitting comments is November 13, 2015.

New Draft Aviation Policy

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Changes proposed in the draft Aviation policy:

  • FDI in aviation: In a remarkable move, the Civil Aviation Ministry has pitched for 50% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in domestic carrier in the event that Open Skies Policy is implemented. Under the Open Skies Policy, foreign carriers can operate unlimited number of flights within and out of India. At present FDI point of confinement is 49%.
  • 2% Levy: Ministry has proposed 2% tax on all household and worldwide tickets for Regional connectivity scheme. The government expects to generate about Rs 1,500 Crore yearly from charging 2% tax.
  • No-frills airports: The policy has suggested different measures to boost local network including setting up of no-frills airports and providing growth break funding for airlines. No frill airport are being proposed to be set up at the cost of Rs 50 crore as an attempt to boost local air connectivity.
  • Boost regional connectivity
    a) The draft proposes cap fare at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flight under Regional connectivity scheme.
    b) To guarantee expanded local connectivity, the policy has additionally proposed different concessions, for example, state governments giving free land and bringing down the Valued Added Tax (VAT) on ATF to 1% or less.
    c) There would be no service charge on tickets under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) aside from service charge exclusion for scheduled commuter airlines taking jet fuel from RCS airports.
    d) For the regional network, 80% of the viability gap funding would be shared by the Center and rest by concerned states.
  • To make MRO (Maintenance Repair, Overhaul) less expensive, the administration has proposed to exclude exercises such as service tax, VAT, etc.
    MRO, ground handling, cargo and ATF infrastructure co-located at an airport will likewise get the advantage of infrastructure sector, with benefits under Section 80-IA of Income Tax Act.
  • Scheduled Commuter Airlines:
    The revised policy has introduced the idea of Scheduled Commuter Airlines (SCAs) which will ease the norms and organisations will not be obliged to pay airplane terminal charges for operating under RCS.
    SCAs can be set up with a base paid capital of Rs 2 crore and their airplane would have a limit of 100 seats or less. These organisations can also go into code share with different carriers.
  • Route dispersal guidelines:  Different measures have been suggested for legitimization under route dispersal guidelines and also for liberalised bilateral rights framework.
    The domestic carrier would be permitted to go into code agreements with foreign airlines without prior approvals.
  • 5/20 norms: The government has decided to look for more remarks from stakeholders before taking a final call on 5/20 rules – whereby local carriers can fly abroad once they have five years of operational experience and fleet size not less than 20 aircrafts.