Shops, restaurants can now operate 24x7 in Maharashtra

Shops, restaurants can now operate 24x7 in Maharashtra

Commercial establishments and restaurants can now remain open in Maharashtra round the clock.

However, liquor stores, bar and restaurants, and pubs will not be allowed to remain open 24x7.

Earlier, shops were required to down their shutters by 10 pm, commercial establishments by 9.30 pm and restaurants by 12.30 am.

The new rule came into effect with the BJP-Shiv Sena saffron alliance government notifying the Maharashtra Shop and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017.

In Nagpur, where the winter session of the legislature is underway, Labour Minister Sambhaji Nilangekar-Patil said that shops can remain open round the clock in three shifts.

"This will generate more employment as establishments would need workers in three shifts," he said.

The new rule also allows women to work night shifts, from 9.30 pm to 7 am, if they are willing. The employees will have mandatory one day weekly off.

The owners of hotels and restaurants have welcomed the move.

"This is a sign of progress. The biggest benefit of this decision will be in employment and it holds the potential to increase opportunities by 25%. This is a definite boost to tourism and will help the hospitality sector," said Dilip Datwani, president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).

While wishing that bars, too, could remain open 24x7, Datwani said, "HRAWI appeals to the state government to consider allowing bars to remain open at least till 3 am."

The amendment was initiated in accordance with the Centre's Model Shops and Establishment Act, 2016.

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