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URDU LANGUAGE ACT, 2022

URDU LANGUAGE ACT, 2022

ACT XXXVI OF 2022

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An Act to provide for strict compliance of Urdu script in the public and private sectors.

 [Gazette of Punjab, Extraordinary, 16th November, 2022]

No. PAP/Legis-3(104)/2022/66.–The Urdu language Bill 2022, originally passed by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab on the 18th day of October 2022, was sent to the Governor of the Punjab for assent. The Governor returned the Bill for reconsideration by the Assembly. The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, after reconsideration, again passed the Bill on the 1st day of November 2022. The Bill was again sent to the Governor. Since the Governor has not assented to the Bill within the stipulated period of ten days, the same is deemed to have been assented to in terms of clause (3) of Article 116 of the Constitution, and is published as an Act of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.

It is necessary to preserve Urdu as an official language having the status of National Language of Pakistan in terms of Article 251 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and provide for matters ancillary thereto.

Be it enacted by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab;

  1. Short title, extent, and commencement.–(1) This Act may be cited as the Urdu language Act, 2022.

(2) It shall extend to the whole of the Punjab.

(3) It shall come into force at Once.

  1. Definitions.–In this Act;

(a)      “Act” means the Urdu Language Act, 2022;

(b)      “Board” means Urdu Language Board established under this Act;

(c)      “Government” means Government of The Punjab;

(d)      “Prescribe” means regulations framed under this Act; and

(e)      “Rules” means the rules made under this Act; and

(f)       “Treasury” means any Treasury of the Province and includes a Sub- Treasury

  1. Establishment of Urdu language Board.–(1) The Government Shall by notification in the official gazette establish Urdu Language Board, the Board shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with powers, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold and dispose of property and shall, by the said name, may sue or be sued.

(2) The Headquarters of the Board shall be in Lahore and it may set up its sub-offices at such place or places as it may deem fit with the prior approval of the Government.

  1. Composition of the Board.–The Board shall consist of the following;
(a) Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Chairperson
(b) Minister for Higher Education Member
(c) Minister of the School Education Punjab Member
(d) Minister of the Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Member
(e) Chief Secretary Government of the Punjab Member
(f) Secretary to the Government of the Punjab Law & Parliamentary Affairs Department Punjab Member
(g) Secretary to the Government of the Punjab Higher education Department Punjab Member
(h) Secretary to the Government of the Punjab School Education Department Punjab Member/
Secretary
(i) Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission Member
(j) Chairman Punjab Public Service Commission Member
(k) Chairman Punjab Text Book Board Member
(l) Three persons having at least 15 years of experience in Teaching and researching of Urdu language, appointed by the Chief Minister on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed Members
  1. Resignation and Vacancy.–(1) A member of the Board other thanex-officiomay, by writing under his hand and address to the Chief Minister, resign from his office.

(2) Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Board owing to death, removal, or resignation shall be filled by the provision of this Act.

  1. Meeting of the Board.–(1) Meeting of the Board shall be held at least four times in a calendar year, at such time and place as the Chairperson of the Board may determine.

(2) The Chairperson of the Board may delegate his power to any other member of the Board.

  1. Powers and function of the Board.–For the purpose to provide the exact Urdu script for usage in the public and private sectors as having the status of National Language of Pakistan in terms of Article 251 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and for development, promotion and facilitating its expansion, access and use of Urdu in the province the Board shall;

(a)      administer and coordinate all Government departments for the promotion of the Urdu language;

(b)      take measures to secure and for the usage of the exact script of the Urdu language in the Province of Punjab;

(c)      take measures for ensuring the usage of the exact script of the Urdu language in the Province of Punjab;

(d)      advice or issue instructions to all departments of the Government to carry out the purpose of this Act;

(e)      advise the Government on policy relating to the promotion of Pakistani languages, literature, and the welfare of the writers’ community in the province;

(f)       Made recommendations for the carrying out the purpose of this Act;

(g)      formulate the policy to promote the Urdu language, its expansion, and advanced language programming in the public and private sectors;

(h)      encourage, support, and facilitate, training programs, workshops, and symposia at provincial and regional levels in public and private educational institutions;

(i)       establish a language laboratory, a language library, and a documentation Centre to facilitate work on the exact script of the national language; and

(j)       take measures including allocation of funds, for the award of scholarships and research grants

  1. Rules.–The Government may make rules to fulfill the requirement of this Act.
  2. Regulations.–The Board may frame regulations to fulfill the requirement of this Act.
  3. Prohibitions.–(1) There shall be a complete ban on the use of Roman or any other language words for expressing the script of Urdu in print media or any indoor or outdoor media commercial messages or campaigns in the province.

(2) The Board shall ban using Roman or any other language words to express Urdu’s script.

(3) The Board shall make an order for the removal of writing for the expression of Urdu transcripts mentioned in sub-section (1).

(4) Deliberately using Roman or any other language words, for expressing the script of Urdu or violating any provision of this section, shall be punished with a fine which may extend to two hundred thousand Rupees to the delinquents, to be deposited in Government Treasury, and impounding of such transcripts exhibitions material, billboard, etc.

  1. Removal of difficulty.–If any difficulty arises as to give effect to the provisions of this Act the Chief Minister may pass such orders as may be necessary for the removal of such difficulty.
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