Boost for nightlife and malls, markets remain indifferent

Boost for nightlife and malls, markets remain indifferent

Model Shops and Establishment Bill

The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation and Employment of Conditions of Service) Bill 2016, which was recently cleared by the Cabinet has evoked mixed reactions. The hospitality sector believes if Delhi adopts the bill without many amendments, it would lead to “society’s growth” and “boost economy and employment.” However, for the shops in traditional markets, security is the biggest concern.

If adopted by the States and Union Territories, the bill will allow establishments (except manufacturing units) employing 10 or more workers, the freedom to operate 365 days in a year and choose their own opening and closing times. It will allow women to work night shifts. It mandates security arrangements for the employees working late, as well facilities like canteen, crèche, bathrooms and first aid.

Along with the hospitality sector, shopping malls will also benefit from the bill. There can be a sharp rise in revenue if stores in shopping malls remain open late
at night.

“Shopping malls see maximum footfall over the weekends because on weekdays most stores shut down by the time people get free from work. Hence, the retail industry will come at level with e-commerce with the help of this provision,” Abhishek Bansal, executive director, Pacific India, tells Metrolife.

In international markets, special discounts during late night hours are a big trend. Bansal plans to follow the same trend if the bill is implemented. “These discounts will be higher than regular discounts. Those who might not be very keen to shop after a late night dinner or movie will be very tempted to shop seeing these discounts on display, even if its 1 am,” he adds. 

Similar encouragement is seen from pubs, cafes and restaurants who say that the bill is important for “society’s growth” and “boosting economy and employment.” The bill states no provision for serving liquor, the permissible time for selling liquor will be the same — 10 pm for liquor shops and 1 am for restaurants and cafes. So the staff will have to put up with drunken guests for longer, once the bar has closed.

“As per excise laws, we are not allowed to serve any more liquor to guests who are in an extreme drunken state. Moreover, we will get more security and staff on board to meet late night requirements. The implementation of the bill will be very helpful for us,” says Ravi Sethi, general manager, Open House Cafe.

However, owners and managers of retail stores in popular markets like Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh and Connaught Place are indifferent to the bill, saying not many people are willing to shop at markets after 10 pm. Employess at stores in Connaught Place, like Planet Fashion and Bata, are ready to work during night shifts with salary
incentives.

But security is the main concern for store owners and employees who say that it might get difficult to deal with late night customers without sufficient beat police. 

“A few years ago, we did try keeping the store open till 11 pm. But I had experiences of goons entering my shop and ill-treating me. So only if there is security and safe transportation, I would like my female employees to work till late in the night,” says Satish Sundra, owner RCS Toys.

On being asked if there any measures taken to boost security in case the bill is implemented, Vikramjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Outer District says, “We will have to have a uniform policy for this. It is only after the bill is passed by the state that we will get directions from the headquarters and then we will have to comply
by them.”

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)