Odisha makes Odia mandatory on signboards

Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet today approved an amendment in the Orissa Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1956 making it mandatory for all shops and commercial establishments in Odisha to display signboards in Odia, informed Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi today after the Cabinet meeting.

As per the amendment the shops and commercial establishments can write name on the signboards in any language but it should be prominent in Odia. It will be considered as an offence if the names are not displayed in Odia and the violator will be fined as per the new provision, added Padhi.

The lawbreakers will have to pay a fine between Rs 1000 to 5000 in the first instance of violation in court of the judicial magistrate and Rs 2000 to 25,000 when the offence is repeated. Earlier, the fine amount was Rs 15 and Rs 25, respectively.

The act will come into force after getting passed in the Odisha Assembly and one month time period will be given to the shops and commercial establishments for compliance, said the Chief Secretary.

The amendment in the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 also got the Cabinet nod under which the officers who use Odia language for official works will be rewarded and the violators of the act will be punished. The reward and punishment will be decided after the amendment is passed in the Odisha Assembly, said Padhi.

The Odisha cabinet also approved a new sub-scheme – ‘Biju Yuba Vahini’ – under the ongoing ‘Biju Yuva Sashaktikaran Yojana’ with an aim to nurture leadership & volunteerism, promoting culture of sports & sportsmanship and engaging with youth across state.

Youths in the age group of 15 to 35 can join the ‘Biju Yuba Vahini,’ who will undertake awareness campaigns, organise sports and cultural events at panchayat and urban local body-level across Odisha.

In total 17 proposals were approved in the meeting of the Cabinet today.

Chief Secretary Padhi informed that the Cabinet approved further amendments to the Odisha Public Distribution System (Control) Amendment Order, 2018 under which around 7,000 private dealers managing Fair Price Shops in State will get an extension of one year i.e. upto March, 2019, in view of some changes in the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Home department secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy informed about the Cabinet’s approval of Odisha Civil Defence Group A & Group B Officers (Method of Recruitment and Condition of Service) Rules, 2018 to regulate the service conditions of the officers including their recruitment and promotion.

The Cabinet approved the proposal of Housing and Urban Development department to utilise Rs 345 crore towards universal coverage of urban water supply by the end of 2018-19, out of the Rs 375 crore grant earmarked by the 4th State Finance Commission, informed Padhi.

He further said that the Cabinet approved the operational guidelines for implementation of the Buxi Jagabandhu Assured Water Supply to Habitations (Basudha) scheme to provide safe drinking water to rural households.

The Cabinet also decided to regularise the jobs of around 1700 Diploma Engineers engaged as Gram Panchayat Technical Assistants under MGNREGS, said Padhi. The Diploma Engineers who have completed six years of service will be absorbed as Junior Engineers in the Odisha Diploma Engineers’ Service of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Departments against available vacancies.

The amendment to Odisha Legislative Assembly Members’ Salary, Allowances and Pension (Amendment) Act 2017 was also approved by the Cabinet under which the daily sitting allowance of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Ministers during the Assembly sessions was increased to Rs 800 from Rs 150, informed Padhi.

The Cabinet also decided to exempt the stamp duty on the indemnity bond obtained from the chit fund affected small investors, as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry on Unauthorized Collection of Public Deposits, to receive their money from the concerned authority, added Chief Secretary.

He further informed the Cabinet has approved Rs 110-crore tender for construction of a bridge over Mahanadi River connecting Singhanath Pitha and Baideswar at Gopinathpur in Cuttack district.

Universal Eye Health Programme of Health and Family Welfare department also got the Cabinet nod under which eye care infrastructure will be developed at all government hospitals across Odisha.

Besides, few other proposals of the Health department also got the Cabinet nod today, informed Padhi.

Additional Secretary, MSME LN Gupta informed that the Cabinet approved certain amendments to Odisha Startup Policy, 2016.  It encouraged that at least 33 percent of the Startups should be led by women and approved an incremental monthly allowance of Rs 22,000 if the Startup Founder(s) / Co Founder(s) are women or transgenders or from social categories such as SC/ST/SEBC/PH.

Lastly, the Cabinet decided to allot the Odia Virtual Academy to the Odisha Electronics & Information Technology Department, said Chief Secretary Padhi.