Mumbai can shop and party the night away: New bill permits eateries, malls to stay open 24X7

A new bill passed by the Maharashtra government permits the owners of shops, hotels, theatres and multiplexes to keep their establishments open round the clock
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that though the shops will have freedom to work extra hours, they will still have to seek police permission.(Photo for representation only)
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that though the shops will have freedom to work extra hours, they will still have to seek police permission.(Photo for representation only)
Updated on Aug 11, 2017 01:19 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, Mumbai

In a few months, restaurants, multiplexes and malls in the city can remain open till late or even for 24 hours. The condition: The establishments will require police permission.

The state government on Wednesday passed the Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, enabling owners or shops, hotels, theatres and multiplexes in the state to keep their establishments open round the clock, with an easier process to get permissions and licences.This will mean malls, multiplexes, restaurants and even small shops can be kept open till late in the night, especially on weekends.

The management of such establishments can also take the required permission online.

Currently, shops have to be closed by 10pm, with a grace period of 15 minutes. Restaurants are to shut by 12:30am and 1.30am with police permission. Paan and cigarette shops have to pack up by 1pm and other commercial establishments by 9:30pm. After the new rules are enforced, however, shops and malls can remain open until midnight and management can keep restaurants and pubs open even later.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said although the shops will have the freedom to work extra hours, they will have to seek police permissions. He said the norms to be followed will be finalised by the police, depending on the location and the area of the establishment. Fadnavis, while speaking on the bill when it was passed on Wednesday in the Assembly, said: “The permissions will be based on the areas and the locations and the police will decide on the timings based on repercussions on the law and order,” he said.

The government made it clear establishments will have to follow all the existing rules related to labour laws and make adequate security arrangements for women. “While offering ease of doing business, we have also ensured the interests of the workers are safeguarded. We have made provisions for strict monitoring of CCTV installation and mandatory night drops for women working the night shift. Establishments that fail to follow these provisions will face strict action,” labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar told HT.

The Assembly passed the bill late on Wednesday. It will now require clearance of the legislative council, after which it will go to the President of India as the subject is from the concurrent list. If it is not passed by the council owing to shortage of time as the session is slated to end on Friday, the government may think of issuing an ordinance with permission from the President. The entire procedure may take anywhere from three to six months.

The bill has been in accordance with the Model Shop Act proposed by the Centre to facilitate the ease of doing business. The sate government, however, proposed some changes in the model act.

The establishments will have to employ workers in three shifts and give them all the facilities if they are operating 24x7. The bill also makes it mandatory to comply with the existing labour laws and also have increased the leaves for workers employed in these organisations. Maharashtra has become the first state to implement the central government’s Model Shop Act, which puts an end to the inspector raj. The bill will enable 38 lakh establishments to either operate without licence if they employ less than ten workers or get online licences in case more than ten workers.

“This will not only end the inspector raj but also will generate employment. Maharashtra has become first state to adopt the Model Shop Act and this will now pave way for other states to follow the provision we incorporated,” Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar.

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