GUWAHATI, Dec 28 - The State government today introduced �The Assam Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2020� in the Legislative Assembly to allow Bodo language in Devanagari script as an �associate official language� for �all or any of the official purposes� of Assam.
The Bill was introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
�The salient feature of the Bill is to substitute the Section 5A of the Assam Official Language Act, 1960, to implement Clause 6.2 of the MoS (memorandum of settlement) signed on 29-01-2020 with Bodo groups. Proposed amendment will allow Bodo language in Devanagari script as an Associate Official Language for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Assam. Therefore, the Bill proposes to substitute Section 5A of the Assam Official Language Act, 1960,� as per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.
Speaking on the occasion, Congress legislator Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said while he supports the grant of the status to the Bodo language, Bengali should also be accorded a similar status. �If Associate Official Language status is being accorded to the Bodo language, then why also not to Bengali language,� he asked.
Patowary said that the government gives equal importance to all languages. �This Bill has been brought following the BTR pact. So one should not raise issues like why it has been given to one language and not to the other,� he said.
The government today also introduced some other bills in the Assembly, including �The Assam Tea Plantations Provident Fund and Pension Fund and Deposit Linked Insurance Fund Scheme (Amendment) Bill, 2020�, �The Assam Taxation (Liquidation of Arrear Dues) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020�, �The Assam Micro Finance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Bill, 2020�, �The Assam Education (Provincialisation of Services of Non-Teaching Staff of Venture Educational Institutions) (Amendment) Bill, 2020�, �The Moran Autonomous Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020�, �The Matak Autonomous Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020�, and �The Kamatapur Autonomous Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020�.