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Cabinet paves way for shops, restaurants, cinemas to open 24/7


Arun Jaitley20160629184511_l

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Emphasising on the adage that the consumer is king, people will soon be able to shop, eat and watch movies at their convenience even at the most odd hours as shops, restaurants and cinemas will be permitted to remain open 24X7.

The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016 to give such establishments the flexibility to operate round the clock was approved by the Union Cabinet here on Wednesday.

“We will circulate the Model Shops and Establishments Bill. Since this is a state issue, it will be sent to the states which can be adopted by the state governments. The motive was to increase employment opportunities in the country," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters at a press briefing here on Wednesday.

“As malls work all seven days late at night, the small shops which have more than 10 workers will be given the flexibility to decide the timings and the days of work. The interest of the workers in terms of mandatory weekly holiday, number of working hours per day, of course, have to be protected,” Jaitley said.

The model bill allows women to work at odd hours putting an end to protective discrimination.

“Women will be allowed to work at night also. So the employment opportunities for women will increase. But there will be lot of conditions for security and transportation to be provided to them,” the Finance Minister said.

“Retail trade is the largest service sector employer in the country. Many more jobs can be created in this sector, provided the regulations are simplified. If shopping malls are kept open all seven days of the week, why not the small and medium shops? These shops should be given the choice to remain open on all seven days of the week on voluntary basis,” Jaitley had said in his Budget speech this year.

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