BHUBANESWAR:With English continuing to be the official language for communication in almost all departments despite enforcement of Odisha Official Language Act, 1954, the State Government amended the law making penal provisions for Government officials for non-compliance and reward for extensive use of Odia in official works.
The Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in the Assembly on Tuesday incorporating penal provisions for violation of the law. This has been the demand of several organisations working for the Odia language.
While welcoming the Bill, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said he has serious doubts about implementation of the Act as the amended provisions have no clarity on the quantum of punishment for the violators. “The State Government seems more interested to play to the gallery than enforcing the law seriously,” Mishra said.
Echoing similar concern, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said the amendment is a mere eyewash. “I am not sure about implementation of the law in the absence of a statutory body to monitor it,” he said. The House also passed Odisha Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2018 making display of signboards in Odia mandatory for shops and business establishments within the State.
Under the provisions in the Bill all shops and business establishments have to comply with the order within a month of its implementation or pay fines. Penalty for first-time violators will be Rs 1,000 subject to a maximum of Rs 5,000. However, for second violation penalty will be Rs 2,000 subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000.
Meanwhile, the State Government has directed district collectors to initiate steps to create massive awareness to popularise use of Odia language and encourage people to convert it into a mass movement. The Budget session was declared sine die on Tuesday.
Follow or pay fine
Shops and business establishments must comply with the order within a month of its implementation or pay fines
Penalty for first-time violators: Rs 1,000 subject to a maximum of Rs 5,000
Second time violation penalty: Rs 2,000 subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000