New Delhi– Most states of the country are not “serious” about implementing the act meant to protect street vendors’ rights and top defaulters include Gujarat and Nagaland, a leading think-tank said in a report here on Wednesday.

The Street Vendors Act Compliance (SVAC) Index 2017, published by Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society (CCS), took stock of 23 states across the country and found a “prevailing state of inertia” in bringing the act into practice in its full spirit in these states.

“Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Puducherry, Uttarakhand and West Bengal did not even respond to RTI applications and telephonic calls for data collection,” the CCS said in a statement.

In the report, authored by advocate Prashant Narang and academic Yugank Goyal, the states were marked on the basis of the stages upto which they have implemented the clauses and rules enshrined in the act.

“Most compliant states as per the index are Delhi (01), Andhra Pradesh (02), Chhattisgarh (03), Jharkhand (04) and Tripura (05),” the advocacy group said, while Nagaland (which scored a zero as per the scale), Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Rajasthan comprised the bottom five.

The act in question – Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act – was passed in 2014 to protect the livelihood and rights of the small time street vendors, majorly consisting of those operating off carts.

“At a time when the government is running a scheme of ‘start-ups and stand ups’, and multiple rebates and subsidies are being handed out to these ventures, the problems faced by street vendors in the course of their earning of livelihood are being ignored,” the statement added. (IANS)