Maharashtra State Government issued a notification to the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, 2017, clarifying that they do not have a problem with shops including restaurants, groceries, malls, cinema halls and salons and excluding liquor, medical stores and establishments, tax consultancies and banks remaining open 24*7.
This notification will allow 35 lakh shops to decide when they want to carry out their business. This move will ensure ease of business, which was the main aim. So, after this notification, the shops and restaurants which could only run their business until max 10 pm and 12:30 am respectively, can now continue operations throughout the night and even all day. The establishments that had wish to extend their working hours will be required to intimate the ministry online while stating the number of employees they have hired.
It will also ensure that women who want to work at night can have a shift from 9:30 pm to 7 am in accordance with certain regulations. Employers will have to ensure that their employees work for 9 hours a day in three different shifts. The establishment must ensure the safety of women employees and safeguard them from sexual harassment. Women employees working after 9:30 pm will have to be provided with transportation. Employees will be entitled to pay for overtime duties, paid leaves, first aid, canteen facilities and a creche.
These notifications have created a stir nationwide. Business owners in Karnataka are also demanding the same. Hazeef, a hotel owner in Shivajinagar in Bengaluru said, “Shivajinagar is known for it’s night life food. People come even after midnight to have food here. However we are forced to close at 1 am. Even if it is over 2 minutes, police come and close our gates. We are suffering losses due to this. I hope Karnataka government also follows the same like what is done in Maharashtra”.
Agreeing with Hazeef, is Priya, an IT employee, “I feel that hotels and all should be allowed to be opened even after midnight. Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city and people end up late nights. They do not have much option. It would be a boon for them, if business establishments are allowed to open even after midnight.”
Meanwhile there are some, who oppose this. Gayatri, a housewife said, “I think this is not at all necessary. Opening establishment even after midnight is risky. Unlike people of Mumbai, people in Bengaluru do not stay out at nights. There is also chance of crimes increasing if business establishments are opened at night. Government should think twice before implementing any rules as such.”
There are pros as well as cons. It is upto the government over making rules. Proper care must be taken to safeguard employs, as we see in most of the cases, employees suffer. This should not happen. We will now have to wait and see, how Karnataka government responds to this demand by public.