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Shops and establishments can now stay open 24×7



AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on the state’s foundation day, Wednesday, formally notified the Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 2019, enabling shops and commercial establishments to remain open round the clock. Retail shops and markets, along with malls and food outlets are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries of the amendments in the existing law, which comes into force from Wednesday.
With the model code of conduct for the general elections being in force, the state government had sought special permission from the ECI to enforce the legislation. After receiving ECI’s permission on Tuesday, the government brought the new legislation into effect from Wednesday. Amendments in the act will increase employment, the state government has claimed.

Under the new provisions, shops and establishments employing less than ten persons will not require registration. After the amendments, shops and establishments will be spared from annual renewal of registrations as well.
According to the state government estimates, there are about seven lakh shops and establishments that employ less than ten persons. They generate direct employment of about 10-12 lakh persons. Such establishments will not require registration after changes in the existing law. Other provisions that have been made in the amended bill include perks for those who work overtime. Employees who work overtime will get paid twice their pay. In the earlier act, it was one and a half times their pay for working overtime.

Traders as well as restaurant industry players have welcomed the government decision. “The move will certainly be beneficial for the retailers, especially during the festive season when people tend to shop till late. This will help boost business,” said Jayendra Tanna, president, Gujarat Traders’ Federation (GTF).
Echoing a similar view, Narendra Somani, president, Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association (FHRA), said, “The government decision will benefit restaurateurs and hoteliers and as the awareness about such a decision will increase, more players will consider keeping their premises open.”

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