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A STUDY ON THE VIABILITY OF URBAN STREET VENDORS IN COCHIN CITY
Asst Prof : ST Albert’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulum
Asst.Professor Sabana K.S,
Department of Retail Management, St Albert’s College ( Autonomous), Ernakulam
The informal sector or informal economy is a broad term that refers to that part of an economy that is not taxed, monitored by any form of government, or included in any gross national product (GNP), unlike the formal economy. The original use of the term ‘informal sector’ is attributed to the economic development model put forward by W.Arthur Lewis used to describe employment or livelihood generation primarily within the developing world. It was used to describe a type of employment that was viewed as falling outside of the modern industrial sector. Worldwide there is a growth in the number of people working in informal economy either as self-employed in unregistered enterprises or as wage workers in unsecured jobs. It is now widely recognized that informal economy is a permanent phenomenon, integrally linked to modern capitalist development and globalization1.
Informal workforce in India estimated 370 million workers, representing nearly 93% of total workforce. The vast informal workforce is comprised of three segments first informal employment in agriculture, including both small farmers and agricultural labourers of 60% total employment. Apart from agriculture 133 million workers or 83% of non agriculture workforce are in informal economy. The vast majority of these are engaged in informal enterprises as employers. Third segment estimated 6% of total informal workforce comprised of informal wageworkers who work outside informal enterprises for formal firms, households2.
In urban context most of the urban poor, survive by working in informal sector. Poverty and lack of gainful employment in the rural areas and in the smaller towns derive large number of people to the cities for work and livelihood. These people generally possess low skill and lack of required education for better paid jobs in formal sector. The informal sector includes small enterprise operators, selling goods, foods or offering services their by involving cash economy and market transactions. This is called urban informal sector. The activities of the urban informal sector in the public arena of cities are particularly apparent in the case of street based trading which is widely known as street vending business.
Street vendor is defined as a person who offers goods or services for sale to the public without having a permanent built-up structure but with a temporary static structure or mobile stall. Street vendors may be stationary by occupying space on the pavement or others public or private areas or may be mobile in the sense that they move from place to place carrying their wares pushcarts or in cycles or basket on their heads or may sell their wares in moving bus. Street vendors are an asset to the urban system because of their contribution to the society towards the urban poverty alleviation. 3
The present study is an attempt to analyze how severely the vendors are facing the problems from financial marketing and legal areas of their street vending business.