Shops can now stay open 7 days a week

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 21 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: With a view to generate employment and give businessmen more flexibility, the state government has allowed all retail shops, commercial establishments to remain open seven days a week, 365 days a year. However, the closing time for these shops remains 10pm, reports Clara Lewis. Employees will work only six days and compulsorily get a paid weekly off. The decison will benefit 30 lakh retail shops and commercial establishments employing 50 lakh people across the state.

Jawale said the aim was to grant flexibility to businessmen and at the same time create employment.

"If a business is to operate all seven days then the owner will necessarily have to employ more people," he said.

Currently exemption from keeping the outlet closed one day in a week was granted to any retail owner who approached the government for the same. Now it has been granted to all, said Jawale.

Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) welcomed the decision giving the entire credit to labour minister Prakash Mehta for the relaxation. Shah said the small shop owner has to compete with the big malls and had been at a disadvantage for years.

"For years we have been asking for the relaxation. While malls had been granted exemption and allowed to operate the small retail shop owner could not keep his shop open all week. If he did, the BMC officer would come around asking for a hafta. This will stop the corruption," he said.

Shah said over the last two months the harassment from civic officials had increased greatly and so they approached Mehta as well as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who granted the relaxation immediately.

Activist Shyama Kulkarni, who is a resident of Bandra said it would be a blessing for working people but added the downside is that their delivery vehicles cause traffic jam all the time. "We dont want shops to be open all night but up to 10 pm we are not opposed to it," she said.

Gerson D'Cunha, member of Mumbai First said it is a good decision as it is profitable to the reatiler and convenient to the customer.

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