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Over 300 businesses, including restaurants, can operate 24x7 in Delhi soon

Oct 09, 2022 03:13 PM IST

Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) V K Saxena has approved a proposal to allow 314 establishments to run their businesses on a 24x7 basis in the national Capital

Over 300 establishments ranging from hotels, restaurants, eateries to online delivery services of food, medicines, logistics and other essential commodities, transport and travel services, apart from KPOs and BPOs will soon be able to run their businesses on a 24x7 basis in the national Capital, said officials.

The decision to allow 24x7 business operations will provide fillip to the much desired ‘night life’ in the national Capital. (Representative Image/Amal KS/HT)

Ahead of Diwali, Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) V K Saxena has approved a proposal to grant exemptions under Delhi Shops & Establishment Act, 1954 in 314 such establishments’ applications, some of them pending since 2016.

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The LG has directed that a notification to this effect be issued within seven days, officials said. HT has not seen the copy of the direction. issued by the LG to the labour department.

“The decision, providing exemption under Sections 14, 15 & 16 of the Delhi Shops & Establishment Act, 1954, is expected to boost employment generation and promote a positive and a favourable business environment that are a prerequisite for economic growth. The decision will also provide fillip to the much desired ‘night life’ in the city. Exemptions under Sections 14, 15 & 16 of the said Act enables commercial establishments to operate on a 24X7 basis, subject to certain conditions that entails welfare of labour and security etc.,” said an official.

Serving liquor in restaurants and bars is currently permitted till 1am, and the current exemptions to restaurants and hotels do not extend the operational timing for serving of liquor.

The official said that the LG has taken a very serious view of and flagged issues of inordinate delay, adhocism, randomness and unjustified discretion on part of the labour department in disposing of the applications made by establishments for these exemptions.

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“It may be noted that out of total 346 pending applications, 18 applications of 2016, 26 applications of 2017, 83 applications of 2018, 25 applications of 2019, 04 applications of 2020 and 74 applications of 2021 had not been processed by the labour department on time. These applications, were kept pending for no reason even as just 02 applications, one of 2017 and another of 2021 were processed and sent for approval, in a display of unexplained discretion on part of the labour department, which strongly indicated prevalence of corrupt practices,” said the official.

No reaction was immediately available from the labour department or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on the alleged delay. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is the labour minister of Delhi. A response from the Delhi Police on the law and order situation with regards to the 24x7 business operations by these establishments is awaited. Law and order comes under the preview of the LG in Delhi.

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The official said that the LG has noted while approving the proposal that inordinate delay in processing of such routine applications negatively affects the confidence of the business community at large.

The LG has also pointed out that it took repeated observations and persuasion from the LG Secretariat for the labour department to put in place a digital mechanism for receipt of applications. This, the LG said, showed reluctance on part of the labour department in adopting simple technological interventions that improved the regulatory framework for ‘Ease of Doing Business’, the officials said.

The official further said that the LG has strictly advised that such applications are disposed off within a prescribed timeline so that a conducive investor friendly business environment and positive confidence could be instilled in the entrepreneurs and business community of Delhi at large.

The LG has also directed the Labour Department to ensure that such delays do not occur in future, a mechanism be developed for transparent and effective monitoring, reasons of pendency be ascertained, responsibility be fixed and suitable action be taken against the erring officials, the officials added.

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