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Shops, hotels and malls can now remain open round-the-clock through the week in Maharashtra, according to a new law, which will not apply to bars, pubs, liquor shops and discotheques, the state's Labour Minister Sambhaji Nilangekar-Patil said. The government notified the amended Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Service Condition) Act, 2017, on Tuesday which covers hotels, malls and restaurants. The bill was passed by the Maharashtra legislature during its last session. The new law excludes bars, pubs, wine shops and discos which have to open and close at a particular time. "The amendment now allows all shops to remain open in three shifts.
It can remain open for 24 hours on all seven days. It is, however, mandatory to give one-day leave to their employees every week," Nilangekar-Patil said. The amended law says smaller establishments would not require licences to run their operations but will have to register online with the authority concerned. It exempts small and medium-sized establishments, which have less than 10 workers, or employees working from home, or which are run as online businesses, from registering for a licence. This relaxation is expected to benefit about 22 lakh establishments, the minister said. "Maharashtra is the first state to implement the Shops and Establishments Act to free shopkeepers from licence inspectors," said Nilangekar-Patil. "It will end the harassment by the inspector raj of the civic body as shopkeepers can register online," he added.
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