BMC to Double Property Tax for Shops Without Marathi Signboards

Marathi Language Mandate to be enforced from May 1, 2024
Marathi language enforcement - BMC property tax - marathi signboard rule - Mumbai shop signboards - taxscan

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC ) has announced stringent measures to enforce the use of Marathi language in sign boards across shops and establishments in Mumbai. Starting May 1, shops without Marathi signboards face a doubling of property taxes, and illuminated boards without Devnagri script will have their licenses revoked immediately.

The BMC has taken decisive action against non-compliant entities, issuing legal notices to nearly 3,040 shops for failing to erect Marathi language signboards. Among these, 343 cases incurred fines totaling Rs 32 lakh, while 177 cases received a collective penalty of Rs 13.94 lakh.

This crackdown follows the BMC’s earlier initiatives, including inspections of over 87,000 establishments between November and March. While the majority complied by displaying Devanagari script, the remaining 3,040 now face legal consequences.

The BMC’s stance has escalated, targeting establishments that haven’t adapted despite extended concessions. Such entities will not only endure doubled property taxes but also the cancellation of glow sign board licenses, necessitating fresh registrations and expenses ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

These actions align with a state government resolution passed in February 2022, amending the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act to mandate Marathi signboards.

Although the BMC initially paused enforcement due to legal challenges, the recent revocation of stay orders has reignited its crackdown.

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