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Govt to allow restaurants, food joints to run business till midnight

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VIJAYAWADA: The state government has taken a decision to allow hotels, restaurants and eateries to stay open till midnight as part of its move to turn Andhra Pradesh into a global state. As of now, the eateries across the state have to close business by 10.30 pm.

The GO (MS No 25) released by the labour department on Monday announced that the notification will be published in the extra-ordinary gazette of the Andhra Pradesh. However, the notification is applicable only for the eateries and clearly exempts bar-cum restaurants. The principal secretary of tourism department Mukesh Kumar Meena said that the move would not only boost the business for food joints but also increases employment.

“Apart from employment, we believe that the move would provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs and in turn boost the culinary tourism in the state,” Meena told TOI. The labour department would also frame rules to ensure that the workers timings and wages for the extra hours don’t get violated. In Vijayawada, night food courts like the ones in BRTS Road near Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium already function till 1 am.

The decision came after months of examining the representation given by Andhra Pradesh Hotels Association and discussions with chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu where they also explored the security aspect. According to sources in Andhra Pradesh Hotels Association, more than 100 hotels and restaurants in Vijayawada are looking forward to extending their business timings till midnight.

“The move will benefit the IT crowd and bureaucrats who work late in the night. Normally, our restaurant closes by 10.30 pm. Now, the extension will improve our business by adding at least 10% customers daily,” Khaja Mess owner Kaleem Baasha said. Members of the Hotels Association also feel the move would eliminate corruption among the police who often take money from the eateries to run business late in the night.

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