City to open up to late night shopping on Deepavali eve

Prominent stalls, restaurants, showrooms to do business

For the first time, a section of business establishments in the city will conduct transactions through the night of Deepavali eve.

Prominent sweet stalls, restaurants and garment showrooms have apparently made plans to keep their establishments open, exercising the exemption granted by the State government earlier this year to permit those having 10 or more employees to permit them to remain open for 24 hours.

As per a notification issued in June, shops and establishments fulfilling the conditions can remain open for 24 hours a week for all days in a year for a period of three years.

The establishments have chosen to transact for 24 hours only during festivals since the city is otherwise yet to catch up with the late night shopping culture of metros, say traders.

Earlier this week, Collector S. Sivarasu convened a meeting of officials and instructed them not to hinder conduct of overnight business for the festival.

But not all commercial establishments with more than 10 employees are enthusiastic about the notification.

“Keeping the shops open would mean additional overhead expenses in terms of electricity, refreshments and wages for the additional shifts,” Rajendran, manager of a consumer durables showroom, said.

The conditions for working 24x7 are hard to meet. No employee must be allowed to work for more than eight hours a day and 48 hours a week. And the duration of work including the overtime must not exceed 10 and a half hours a day and 57 hours a week. Else, the establishments will invite penal action, according to an official source.

It is another matter that the traders, in general, are not enthusiastic about the shopping pattern of customers.

“When compared to last year, the festival business has come down by nearly 50%. The transactions are sluggish in almost all segments of business right from sweets and crackers to consumer durables and textiles,” Ve. Govindarajulu, State General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, said.

“There are clear indications that the purchasing power of the people has dropped significantly. The situation has turned so most likely due to the distress of agricultural community and the sluggishness of the small-scale enterprises in the district,” Mr. Govindarajulu said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:49:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/city-to-open-up-to-late-night-shopping-on-deepavali-eve/article29792950.ece

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