The Maharashtra government Tuesday issued a notification allowing shops and establishments to remain open 24×7 across the state. However, it has imposed restrictions on timings of liqour shops and movie theatres, said sources. In August, both the Houses of the legislature had cleared the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2017 that allows shops to remain open 24×7. In September, the Governor gave his assent to the Bill. The Act came into effect after the state government issued a notification Tuesday.
“We issued a notification today and the Act comes into effect immediately. It will benefit around 34 lakh establishments across the state and they can operate seven days a week. Due to law and order issues raised by the Home department, we have imposed restrictions on theaters and liquors shops. While theaters will have to be shut by 1 pm, the existing timings of closure will remain for liquor shops,” state Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil told The Indian Express.
The new Act will apply to shops, residential hotels, restaurants, theatres and amusement places to which the provisions of the Factories Act do not apply. It also applies to establishments, which include businesses involved in banking, stocks, medical practice, architects, engineers, accountants, tax consultants and professional consultants.
“For liqour related shops, we have imposed different timing restrictions for municipal corporation, municipal council and rural areas. Besides, restrictions on movie theatres have been imposed and they have to be shut by 1 pm. The restrictions have been imposed keeping in mind law and order issues raised by the Home department,” said a senior official from the labour department.
The officials said the reform is aimed at ease of business, and cutting red tape and inspector raj. “It is part of ease of doing business. Besides, it will put an end to inspector raj and reduce corruption. Also, there is an online system for registration that should be issued in a day normally,” added the official.
The Act allows women to work, with their consent, between 9.30 pm and 7 am provided the employer ensures their safety and transportation from the establishment to their residence. It also says workers can work for 9 hours a day or 48 hours a week and overtime should be twice the wages. The workers are also entitled to weekly holiday, paid leaves, a creche and a canteen.
Another official said the establishments will have to register within 60 days from today. “The establishments having more than 10 employees should apply for online registration. It will not apply to establishments that have valid registration or renewal until expiry. The establishments having less than 10 employees have to intimate the state government appointed facilitator with self-declaration within 60 days,” said the official.
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