Govt. decision to allow vendors back on pavements: Thilanga responds

Govt. decision to allow vendors back on pavements: Thilanga responds

June 23, 2015   05:12 pm

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If pavements are completely given back to pavement vendors, that will become a massive problem, Deputy Minister Thilanga Sumathipala said. 


On his official Facebook fan page, Sumathipala said “Pavements are constructed exclusively for the use of pedestrians. They are not a business premises. But pavement vendors primarily cause hassle to pedestrians. That is the first issue. The next problem is that because of this, legitimate shops situated behind the pavement lose out on business. 


These are businessmen who pay taxes, provide jobs, contribute to EPF and ETF and pay electricity bills. They conduct their business operations in a legal manner. Also vehicles stopped for pavement vendors block entrances of these legitimate business premises, making it difficult for consumers to go in to such shops.


It was because of such concerns that the Late President Premadasa constructed the World Market. However pavement vendors are in the habit of selling or leasing premises given to them, and then asking to be allowed to sell goods from the pavement again. This has been repeatedly occurring for the last 5 – 10 year but has been controlled during the past 3-4 years.
Selling certain items on the pavement during festival occasions, like Vesak decorations and Buddhist flags during Vesak, fireworks during New Year, Christmas trees and Christmas decorations during Christmas as well as Rambutan and Durian during the season is not an issue. They cater to an occasional and special need. But if pavements are completely given back to pavement vendors, that will become a massive problem. This country won’t progress forward, but move backwards and we are against that.”

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