BY Smitha N | Deccan Chronicle | Jan 5, 2018

Kochi: The Kochi-based think-tank, Centre for Public Policy Research,  will submit a proposal to the state government seeking  steps to amend the  laws to promote night shopping, especially in cities like Kochi.

According to a study conducted by the agency, it is the most appropriate time to introduce night shopping in Kochi with the commissioning of Metro and other urban transport initiatives.

As per the Kerala Shops and Establishments Act of 1960, shops and establishments should be closed by the time specified by the government. Prior permission from the labour department is needed to extend working hours. But the Union government had approved the Model Shops and Establishments Act in 2016, which proposes that employers can decide the opening and closing hours of their firms. It is up to the state governments to either accept the proposals of the Model Act or make suitable changes to it.

“The CPPR has been conducting a study on the prospects of night shopping in major commercial centres in the state. The state government has requested us to provide support in making necessary amendments in the Model Shops and Establishments Act to suit the situation in Kerala. The draft proposal will be submitted to the state labour secretary,” said Mr D. Dhanuraj, chairman of CPPR.
With the launch of Kochi Metro services and the KMRL’s  beautification project, night shopping can be introduced on  MG Road, which will facilitate ease of doing business for commercial firms and help in branding cities. Night shopping can also be introduced in the recently renovated Sweet Meat street (Mittayi Theruvu), he added.

Accessibility is a major prerequisite for 24/7 operation. Availability of urban space in the form of pedestrian and cycle paths is another important element of physical infrastructure for fashioning the 24/7 environment. These are possible on MG Road, according to the study report of CPPR prepared by Sara John, project associate.

This report was first published in Deccan Chronicle on January 5, 2018. Click here to read: Public Policy Research moots night shopping

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