ASSOCHAM’s proposal receives lukewarm response from States

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 : Expressing concern over a lukewarm response on allowing small and medium scale shop-keepers to remain open for all seven days, ASSOCHAM persisted to the Centre to persuade states to approve and adopt the Shops and Establishments Bill draft, in order to promote retail trade in the country.

So far, only Rajasthan has initiated an exercise for bringing in legislative provisions in sync with the model Bill proposed by the Centre over a year ago, in the Finance Minister`s Budget speech of 2016-17.

The state has begun work on bringing amendments in the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1958 to permit the small traders to keep their shops and retail outlets open throughout the week.

"As per the Outcome Budget of 2016-17, while the Labour and Employment Minister and other senior officers in the Union Ministry have written to the states for adoption of the model bill, the states too need to realise importance of the measure which can immediately bring good results and add to employment and consumer demand," said D.S.

Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM. Needless to say the interests of the workers employed in the shops and small outlets should be protected and they should not be made to work in double shifts without additional benefits.

Besides, safety and security of the staff working late hours, particularly for women should be ensured, the Secretary General added.

"The states need to work closely with Centre and create an eco system for making our urban landscape more safe and vibrant.

The security of citizens should remain the key area of priority. Thus, the blueprint must be made in a perfect coordination of all the civic agencies like those in-charge of street lights, city transport including metro rail and the citizens societies," the chamber further added.

Source: ANI