More reports on: Government policies

Maharashtra becomes first Indian state to offer 24/7 shopping

20 December 2017

Corporate enterprises and shops across Maharashtra can now decide to stay open for 365 days a year and choose their opening and closing times with the state government passing an amendment to the Shops and Establishments Act.

The changes in the Act, however, will not apply to liquor shops and bars.

The state government today passed the Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, which would enable multiplexes, restaurants, shops business houses that don't serve liquor to remain open 24/7 throughout the year with permission that can be obtained online.

Businesses can run round-the-clock in three shifts, thereby creating more employment opportunities.

The move gives flexibility to women who can now choose suitable worktimes. 

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said the cabinet has approved the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Bill 2016 which was sent to states and union territories across the state.

The bill has laid down guidelines that can be adopted by the state governments across the nation.

Shops in Maharashtra are closed by 10 pm, while restaurants are closed by 12:30 am and an hour late with police permission.

Other commercial establishments have to close by 9.30 pm while Paan and cigarette shops have to close by 1 am.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the new bill will enable businesses to run for extra hours but will require police permission.

''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,'' Fadnavis said, adding that the norms will be finalised by the police depending on the location.

The bill will now require clearance from the legislative council and then will be forwarded to the President of India.

Maharashtra is the first Indian state to allow businesses to run 247.

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