The Maharashtra Assembly today passed the Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill which will enable shops to remain open 24 hours a day. According to the Hindustan Times, the only requirement is that the establishments take permission, which is also available online, from the police. According to the report, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis 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.”
A statement released by the Ministry of Labour & Employment said that the bill’s provision of operating shops 24X7 would boost the retail market and give the consumers flexibility and convenience to shop anytime. Labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar told HT that apart from the ease of business provided by the bill, workers’ interests will also be catered to. He said that provisions have been made for CCTV installation and ensured that women, working the night shift, will be provided night drops.
Nilangekar told the Times of India that if complaints are received about any shop or restaurant in a residential area is causing noise or traffic pollution, the 24/7 clearance would be rescinded. The reform covers hotels, restaurants, theatres, business establishments like banking, medical practice, accountants etc. About 38.5 lakh establishments would benefit from this reform. The bill is now required to pass through the legislative council and then the President of India. Currently, shops are closed at 10 pm and restaurants shut by 12:30 to 1:30 am after taking due police permission.