Mumbai, August 11: Now the shops and malls in Maharashtra will remain open round the clock all days of the week as the Maharashtra Assembly has cleared the bill which allows the shops and malls to operate on their convenience. 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 24X7, with an easier process to get permissions and licenses.
The new rule will not apply to establishments posing security or public interest concerns. These establishments will need police clearance, officials said. The bill makes it mandatory to comply with the existing labour laws and have increased the leaves for workers employed in these organisations. The bill will now need clearance of the Legislative Council, after which it will go to the President.
According to the bill, the 24X7 operations are not permitted for bars, pubs, wine shops and nightclubs which currently have restricted timings, said officials.
Restaurants, especially those in residential areas, will need additional clearances.
Currently, shops have to be closed by 10 PM, with a grace period of 15 minutes. Restaurants are to shut by 12:30 AM and 1.30 AM with police permission. Paan and cigarette shops have to pack up by 1 PM and other commercial establishments by 9:30 PM.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said police restrictions and clearances would still apply on timings. “The same type of establishment and those located in the same area will have the same timings,” he said.
Welcoming the move, Viren Shah, President of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association said, “We have been demanding that shops and malls be allowed to operate 24X7 since people should have the opportunity to shop at night. But it’s not clear which establishments will need additional clearances.”