The Mamata Banerjee government’s decision to waive corporation tax on advertisements put up by Puja organisers during the festive season will cost the civic exchequer crores.
Trinamool Congress controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has waived advertisement tax on temporary banners, festoons and hoardings put up during the festive season this year.
According to officials attached to the advertisement department, orders from top have prompted them not to go for any drive to collect advertisement tax on temporary banners, festoons and hoardings during this festive period.
Last year, the KMC authorities had called for a tender and had mopped up over R1 crore as tender price for collection of advertisement tax from temporary banners, festoons and hoardings.
However, at the last moment, the tender was cancelled after chief minister Mamata Banerjee suddenly announced the waiver.
According to a KMC official, such a decision only benefited Puja organisers who are making money during the festival and leading a luxurious life.
“Many Trinamool Congress leaders are making huge profits from Mamata Banerjee’s decision to waive advertisement tax,” a senior official of the KMC’s advertisement department alleged.
Such a decision had only helped in the mushrooming of temporary ads across the city during the festival month.
“Many advertising companies, too, are making lot of unaccounted money from such a tax-free venture,” a senior KMC official said.
KMC had been calling for tenders for collection of advertisement tax since 2007 during the regime of Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.
Prior to 2007, due to lack of adequate staff at KMC’s advertisement department, civic authorities had to miss out heavily on advertisement tax.