Mumbai: As part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s move to promote the use of Marathi, it will be binding on all shops and establishments in Maharashtra to display their signboards in Marathi. The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, approved the amendment to the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017, on Wednesday so that the shops and establishments with even less than 10 workers will have to display Marathi nameplates.
The decision was taken as the government has received complaints that the shops and establishments with less than 10 workers were evading the provisions of the Act by not displaying nameplates in Marathi.
With the latest decision, all shops big and small will have to display their names in Marathi. The cabinet also approved the amendment that Marathi signage in Devanagari script must be of the same size as the name of the establishment in English or other scripts.
The proposal was moved by Minister for Marathi Language Subhash Desai and was unanimously passed by the state cabinet.
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Hours after the cabinet’s decision, the shopkeepers have reminded the government about the legal case pending final order in the Bombay high court. The shopkeepers have argued that they have suffered a lot due to the pandemic and the cabinet’s decision will be anti-shopkeepers as they would have to shell out funds in the midst of a severe financial crunch to revise the signboards.
Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) President Viren Shah said, “If the state government has to change anything ,it will have to first approach the Bombay high court, which had granted a stay in 2001. Even in 2009, they tried but the high court refused it. Even if the government forces this change, every shopkeeper will have to spend Rs 10,000-30,000, depending on the size of the nameplate. Such a decision will not go down well in trading community.”
Shah urged the state government to keep shopkeepers away from the politics of Marathi signboards. “We live in Maharashtra and respect Marathi language,” he said.
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Published on: Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 11:16 PM IST
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