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Maharashtra government finishing work on bill to allow Mumbai shops to stay open throughout night


MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is giving finishing touches to a bill that would allow most shops — kiranas, tailors, supermarkets, etc, —in Mumbai to stay open throughout the night, seven days a week.

The only point of contention now is whether all areas in Mumbai should be allowed to operate 24×7, or only certain areas. The move is part of the state government’s ease of doing business initiative, and the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (MSEB) bill is likely to be introduced in the forthcoming monsoon session of the state assembly.

The bill will allow shops and establishments that give their employees a mandatory weekly off to stay open for work 24×7. Women employees too would be allowed to work night shifts, but their consent will be needed and the employer should provide for their safety. Maharashtra government officials, however, said that permit rooms, beer bars, wine shops, discotheques and pubs will not be able to enjoy the benefits of the new policy since they would be excluded from it.

“We will not allow a blanket approval for all establishments to remain open; beer bars and wine shops will have to shut at their usual hour as there would be a law and order problem,” said a state government official. The home department and the Mumbai Police have already expressed reservations about the policy. The home department has said that it “does not recommend the provision of allowing shops and other establishments” to be open for business all 24 hours… as it could disturb peace and lead to a law and order problem.

Source: Economic Times

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