Women’s safety on mind, Maharashtra government says no to 24x7 liquor bars
The state government can exclude certain segments, areas or types of business from the Act’s purviewmumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 10:57 IST
With an eye on the safety of women, the Maharashtra government has allowed all establishments but bars, liquor shops and restaurants serving alcohol to remain open round the clock.
The state government on Tuesday issued a notification and amended the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, which according to a civic official means that the bill has come into effect.
The state government can exclude certain segments, areas or types of business from the Act’s purview.
Similarly, civic bodies and police authorities can approach the government for the exclusion of any such segment
“The police have time and again flagged issues about liquor being sold 24x7. The BJP had also opposed this in the civic body. That is the reason the state government has kept liquor serving establishments out of the purview,” said a senior official.
Seven lakh commercial non-liquor establishments in Mumbai are expected to benefit from the reform decision.
However, it need not mean that shops will have their shutters up 24x7 from Tuesday night. This gives the civic bodies a window to complete all formalities, if it is given responsibility for regulating the outlets.
On the other hand, there have been questions on the impact of the same, there could be more pressure on the police force in cities like Mumbai. Concerns are being raised over safety of women employees working in various establishments that would do business till late night or early morning.
The decision will mean longer shopping hours, especially on weekends ,in cities like Mumbai. Theatres can also screen films screening or hold plays till early morning.
The government said the notification that would allow 35 lakh shops and commercial establishments in the state to run their business round the clock. Under the current rules, shops can be kept open till 10 pm and restaurants till 12.30 am. Commercial establishments can function till 9.30pm.
Labour minister Sambhaji Nilangekar Patil said the government may ask the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to implement the Act in Mumbai.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta said, “BMC is awaiting the notification. Following this, the civic body will work around nitty-gritty of the order.”