Maharashtra govt allows malls to operate in key cities including Mumbai, Thane

The government of Maharashtra has allowed malls and shopping centers operating in key cities including Thane and Navi Mumbai, to start their operations with certain restrictions.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), in a supplementary notification, has allowed malls in Mumbai to operate until 10pm everyday including weekends.

Pune, a consumption centre, however, continues to be under restrictions and malls in the city are not allowed to start operations yet due to high number of Covid19 infections.

All essential and non-essential shops including shopping malls in other cities except Mumbai will remain open on all weekdays till 8pm and till 3pm on Saturdays. All shops and shopping malls will remain shut on Sundays until further notice, the state government said in a notification on Monday evening.

MCGM’s supplementary notification for Mumbai was issued after the state government’s circular.

Cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes, both independent and inside the malls, in other cities and even in Mumbai will remain shut until further orders.

Mall developers are now awaiting directions from local authorities including the civic bodies and disaster management authorities in Navi Mumbai and Thane districts.

Mall developers and shopping center operators had reached out to the government earlier requesting for permission to let shopping centres and malls to start operation. They had also sought to allow malls to operate as per regular operational hours.

The prolonged closures of retail malls, owing to the restrictions on account of the Covid19 pandemic, in Maharashtra have impacted the estimated 50 malls in the state that employ more than 2 lakh people, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) had said recently while requesting the authorities allow opening up of malls.

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These malls generate a business of nearly Rs 40,000 crores and contribute Rs 4,000 crores through the Goods & Services Tax (GST) per month. The restrictions have also afflicted all the businesses associated with malls. On an average, a mall has 200 retail stores operating in it and over 5,000 business entities associated with it as suppliers and vendors, RAI had said while adding that restarting malls will help ensure the survival of this ecosystem.

Malls and shopping centers in Maharashtra including Mumbai and Pune, key consumption centers, have been shut since the last four months owing to Covid19 related partial lockdown and curfews.

Last year too, after the gradual opening of the nation in the unlock phase, malls and shopping centers were given the permission to operate at the later stage. This has resulted in massive loss of revenue to the sector and government. The sector was returning to normalcy before the second wave hit the country.



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