All Maharashtra shops, except bars and liquor outlets, can stay open 24/7 following state government’s notification

Liquor Shop

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Nagpur: Shops and establishments in the state can remain open round the clock in three shifts from Wednesday. The state government has amended the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Service Condition) Act, 2017 and issued a notification in this regard.

Besides shops, the notification covers hotels, restaurants and malls, but excludes bars, pubs, wine shops and discotheques which currently have restricted timings. “Now, all shops can remain open in three shifts 24X7 seven days in a week. The move will generate more employment as establishments would need workers in three shifts,” said labour minister Sambhaji Nilangekar-Patil.

However, all employees must mandatorily be given a weekly day off.

Media had reported in August that the state government was keen on such a move and had got the legislation cleared in the assembly.

The notification says smaller establishments don’t need to get licences as per old provisions of the MSE Act; they must only register online with the authority.

“Maharashtra is the first state to implement the shops and establishments Act to free shopkeepers from licence inspectors,” said Nilangekar-Patil. “This will end harassment by the inspector raj of the civic body as shopkeepers can register online,” he added.

The amended legislation exempts small- and medium-sized establishments—which have zero or fewer than 10 workers or employees working from home or which run an online business—from registration for a licence. This relaxation is expected to benefit about 22 lakh establishments.

Over 12 lakh shops and establishments which have a workforce of less than ten can now fix their own time of operations. The amended Act facilitates workers to get identity cards, weekly offs and minimum wages. This will benefit almost 35 lakh workers and manual labourers.