By Abid Usman
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr Sania Nishtar distributed 150 vending licenses among the street vendors under the Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative.
The licences, issued by the municipality, were distributed during the conference jointly organized by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). The event was themed, “Transformation of Street Vending in Islamabad and Lessons for Urban Pakistan”. Around 150 street vendors, who are given vending licenses and new eco-friendly carts under Ehsaas Rehribaan participated in the conference.
The purpose of the conference was to highlight the transformation of street vending in Islamabad under the ongoing Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative and its lessons for replication in Urban Pakistan. A large number of officials and representatives from municipality, government agencies, academia, micro-finance banks and civil society also attended the conference. Dr. Sania distributes 150 vending licenses under Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Rehribaan Initiative
In her address, Dr Nishtar appreciated the first of its kind collaboration between government, academia and private sector in structuring a sustainable intervention for providing an enabling environment to street vendors. “This initiative has been taken under the direct policy directives of the Prime Minister”, said Dr. Sania.
Further, she recognized the fact that this initiative creates opportunities for livelihoods and contributes to climate change efforts through solar system-fitted carts. She expressed her hope that the programme will continue at the same pace to cover other areas of the city and later will be replicated in other cities of the country. Zia Banday, Focal Person of Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative, presented the background and progress of the programme. He informed that by covering 177 street vendors in just 4 markets, the ongoing programme has already generated Rs.3.5 million in license fee, Rs.17.5 million in capital investment and Rs.11.5 million in cart loans.