Advertiser makes hay as MC looks away
An advertising company which has erected about 25 hoardings in SAS Nagar without permission continues to evade advertisement tax to the tune of Rs 55 lakh, thanks to the laxity of the municipal corporation authorities and their selective approach when it comes to recovery of taxes.chandigarh Updated: Aug 13, 2012 18:03 IST
An advertising company which has erected about 25 hoardings in SAS Nagar without permission continues to evade advertisement tax to the tune of Rs 55 lakh, thanks to the laxity of the municipal corporation authorities and their selective approach when it comes to recovery of taxes.
It has been eight months, but the advertiser has neither paid the money nor removed the hoardings, causing substantial revenue losses to the MC.
As per MC records, the company, M/s Taksh Media, had applied for permission to erect and display hoardings on the roofs of commercial buildings and booths last year. SAS Nagar, which was then a municipal council, had accorded permission at the rate of Rs 40 per sq ft and thereafter the tax was deposited by the advertiser for a period of one year, which expired in January.
Meanwhile, the municipal council was upgraded to a corporation and former municipal commissioner Saravjit Singh increased the advertisement tax to Rs 1,348 per sq ft on November 31 last year.
The advertiser again applied for renewal of his rooftop hoardings on November 4 for the year 2012-2013 at the existing rate of Rs 40 per sq ft. Two months later, the MC asked for an amount of nearly Rs 55 lakh from the company as annual advertisement tax to be deposited in advance. Even a demand notice was issued in this regard.
The hoardings put up by the company are also in violation of the building bylaws of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the GMADA authorities have already issued notices to all building owners to get them removed.
Taksh Media director Ashok Kumar said he had applied for permission, but refused to pay the revised amount of Rs 55 lakh sought by the MC authorities. He claimed there were no hoardings of his company in the city.
However, Charan Das, accounts officer of Cama hotel, said the hotel had put up hoardings at four places in the city through Taksh Media and was paying the company nearly Rs 2 lakh a month.
MC executive officer Radhesh Kalra said he was not aware of the matter, but would look into it.
"It is a very serious issue, but since I am not aware of it, I will get the records checked on Monday. We will take all necessary action," said MC commissioner Varun Roojam.
Even as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has issued notices to shopkeepers for erecting illegal hoardings on their rooftops, the municipal corporation, which earns around Rs 5 crore annually from advertisement contracts, has not conducted any drive to remove illegal hoardings defacing the city.