Mumbai: City That Never Sleeps! Newly Passed Bill Allows Shops To Operate 24*7

Sonali Gupta
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The Maharashtra Assembly has cleared a bill that will allow cinema halls, restaurants, shops, banks and other such establishments to remain open 24/7. It can be done with an easier process to get permissions and licenses. The law will also enable women to work during the night in such offices with mandatory cab services and other workplace facilities for them.

The new rule will not apply to establishments posing a security or public interest concerns. These places will need police clearance, said officials.

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According to the bill, the new rule is not applicable to bars, pubs, wine shops and discotheques which currently have restricted timings. The law will not apply to government offices and the Reserve Bank of India.

Currently, the shops need 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.

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 and earn at night.

The government has made it clear that the establishments will have to follow all the existing rules related to labor laws and make adequate security arrangements for women. The bill makes it mandatory to comply with the existing labor laws and have increased the leaves for workers employed in these organizations.

The bill is expected to soon be in action after it is cleared by the president.

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