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Maha govt not to allow hawkers to resume business

Source: PTI
July 07, 2020 15:11 IST
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Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of Justices A A Sayed and M S Karnik that the state government does not have a policy for street vendors and it is also not contemplating framing any as of now.

Hawker

IMAGE: A woman wearing a mask blows bubbles as she sells toys on a footpath in Mumbai. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that at present it does not have any intention of allowing street vendors to resume their business in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of Justices A A Sayed and M S Karnik that the state government does not have a policy for street vendors and it is also not contemplating framing any as of now.

 

"They (street vendors) are an unregulated sector as of now and permitting them to carry on with their business amid the COVID-19 outbreak would lead to further spread of the disease among the society at large," Kumbhakoni said.

The advocate general was responding to a public interest litigation filed by one Manoj Oswal, raising concerns of street vendors being without income due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Oswal's advocate Ashish Verma argued that since hotels and restaurants are allowed to operate, street vendors should also be allowed to conduct their business activities.

The court last month asked the government to clarify its position on the issue and said the government could consider framing a policy.

The bench on Tuesday directed the government to file an affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

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