Saturday, 21 September 2019 07:12 GMT

GAM's campaign against street vendors raises controversy

(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — While some people view street vendors as trying to make "clean money" instead of begging, they have been the target of the Greater Amman Municipality's (GAM) inspection campaign on Wednesday, which resulted in the seizure of 15 stalls, 92 trucks and 19,000 vegetables boxes.

GAM says it seeks to end these "street violations", while presenting other alternatives.

"All street sales are against the law because they violate the citizens' right to walk on streets and the vehicles' right to pass with no hinders in addition to the illegal competition with licensed shops," GAM Spokesperson Mazen Farajeen told The Jordan Times on Thursday, adding that "the food that these vendors sell doesn't undergo health inspection and thus may not be safe for consumption".

He also noted that these street vendors sometimes sell illegal or harmful items such as fireworks or sharp material.

"If any harm is caused by these stalls, the municipality is the one to be held accountable for it," Farajeen said.

Nour Muaz, a Jordanian architect, says she buys from street vendors "to support them instead of leaving them to beg for money, as this is usually their sole means for earning a living".

She suggested designing built-in kiosks or street-friendly booths that are administered by the municipality and rented to vendors for nominal prices as a means of supporting the poor and lowering the rates of street begging.

For his part, Farajeen said that there are several open local markets administered by the municipality where people can have licensed booths. "There is a specialised department in the municipality for the issuance of licences, which are not costly at all," he said.

He also said that there is a special committee to cooperate with humanitarian cases if people cannot afford the licence fees.

"Some vendors play a hide-and-seek game with the GAM officials while the legal measures are as simple as paying a visit to the department," Farajeen noted.

For shop owner Samir, "street vendors are strong competitors who sell at lower prices, yet they are not burdened with the operational costs we pay."

"We want everyone to work and make money but within a systematic and legal approach without causing harm to others," he told The Jordan Times.

In a GAM statement issued on Wednesday, the municipality urged the public to refrain from buying items, especially food, from street vendors whose activities are unlicensed and thus are not subject to any monitoring or quality-control.


GAM's campaign against street vendors raises controversy


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