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Marathi signboards mandatory for small shops in Maha: minister

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Nagpur: Industries minister Subhash Desai while addressing the media on Wednesday said that the Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for shops with fewer than 10 employees to use Marathi signboards.

Desai added that the Maharashtra shops and establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act will be amended for this. The minister, who also holds the Marathi language portfolio, said that the decision was taken during the state cabinet meeting. “We were getting complaints of many shops not implementing the rule, so we decided to make this amendment in the Act,” he said.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray tweeted that even if the shop has only one employee, it will have a Marathi signboard. However, the move was opposed by the retail traders’ association. Federation of Retail Traders Association Viren Shah said, “The high court had stayed a bigger font on Marathi signboards after we went to court in 2001. This cannot be passed in the Assembly as the issue is sub-judice.”

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In 2017, the Maharashtra government had made a rule that all the shops in the state should have a signboard written in Marathi as well.

The implementation of the same however did not go as planned. An amendment was approved that the letters in the Marathi-Devanagari script cannot be kept shorter than letters in English or any other scripts.

The Shiv Sena has alleged that the move has been taken keeping in mind the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.

    DRISHTI SHARMA

    DRISHTI SHARMA

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