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News

Keep shops in the city open 24×7: Congress to BMC chief

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Ravi Raja, a Congress corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and others from the Opposition met commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, demanding a push to the policy that allows shops and commercial establishments to remain open 24×7. The issue was taken up by Congress’s new ally, Shiv Sena, several times in the past two years.

“The Congress is only interested in allowing shops and small businesses to remain open 24×7. We are not interested in bars and discos, which had raised security issues in the state. The municipal commissioner assured us it will be implemented soon,” Raja said.

In January 2018, the state had issued a notification amending the Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act to allow shops, malls, restaurants that do not serve alcohol to operate through the night. However, the police department raised security concerns for Mumbai, and the issue was sent to the home ministry for approval.

Pardeshi said, “As the government has amended the Act, this is permissible. We have discussed it with the police commissioner and stakeholders namely the National Restaurant Association of India to make a plan for select areas such as commercial places and malls. We would like to pilot the approach in places where law and order can be maintained, with no disturbance to residential areas.” Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator from Bandra, said, “It appears likely that we will be able to implement this in Mumbai soon, because the Shiv Sena was very keen on it. So the state will give its final nod now.”

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