Centre to let offline shops remain open through the night

Retail

Centre to let offline shops remain open through the night

by Sujata Sachdeva
28 Oct 2015

With ecommerce majors making a big impact on offline retailers’ businesses, the government is now planning a strategy to let shops remain open as long as they want to like their online rivals. The Central government is said to be proposing to states to scrap rules mandating store closures. It wants a model law that would allow restaurants, malls, theatres and local markets to remain open for 48 hours.

The current state laws mandates shops to remain closed on a specified day and there is no policy in place to let them remain open round the clock, so malls and restaurants close at midnight and local markets even earlier. Experts have welcomed this move since it, according to them, would give a big push to the retail sector against challenges posed by ecommerce platforms. The new law will ensure that businesses introduce shifts so that employees only work for a fixed number of hours and are offered weekly offs along with all existing leave and other perks.

On the Retailers Association of India’s (RAI) suggestion, now along with New Delhi and Maharashtra, Telangana has decided to allow shops to remain open on all days of the week. It made the state governments understand that there was no need to shut a shop for a day since every employee is given a weekly off. This provision forms part of the 10-point agenda incorporated by the Maharashtra government in its retail policy, which RAI wants other states to follow.