In line with its previous orders emphasising on the use of Marathi language in day to day lives, the Maharashtra government has decided to make it mandatory for shops with fewer than 10 employees to use Marathi signboards.
This decision was taken at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, January 12, said Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who also holds the Marathi language portfolio in the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet.
He also stated that the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act will be amended for this. The amendment will also provide that the name on a signboard in the Devnagari script (in which Marathi is written) should not be smaller than that in any other script.
The objective was to close a legal loophole which the owners of small shops exploit to avoid putting up Marathi signboards (already required for bigger establishments), he added.
Desai further mentioned that the objective behind this move was to close a legal loophole which the owners of small shops exploit to avoid putting up Marathi signboards, which is already required for bigger commercial establishments.
Earlier, in December 2020, the Maharashtra government has asked the Konkan Railway to follow the three-language formula and use Marathi along with Hindi and English on the signages, advertisements.
In addition, in November 2020, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra had passed an order making Marathi language compulsory in central government offices in the state.
It is also pertinent to note that the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a rival of the ruling coalition partner Shiv Sena, had launched an agitation in the past demanding signboards be in Marathi.