Under attack over illegal hoardings and low collection of revenue from advertisement tax, the municipal corporation has decided to adopt a new policy to allow advertisements on private properties.
After passing the proposal during the budget meeting on March 31 this year, it has been sent to the department of local government in Chandigarh for final approval.
The policy was discussed by members of the advertising committee, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Ashwani Bhandari and comprising Congress councillor Sushil Rinku and BJP councillor Darshan Lal Bhagat, and got the House’s approval during the budget meeting.
Initially, the committee has defined no criterion for charging fees as per specifications of the board size, its location and safety norms to avoid visual distraction to commuters, but it has fixed an amount of `10,000 per hoarding or board.
At present, there is no control on hoardings and billboards on private buildings with people using private space for putting up advertisements to earn money without caring the norms.
“The corporation is losing revenue because it had no policy so far, but if the government gives the go ahead, revenue collection through this source is expected to surpass the targets,” said Bhandari, adding that other specifications will be decided during the committee meeting on Thursday.
Bhandari said earlier the committee had proposed to charge Rs 7,000 - Rs 8,000 as the price per hoarding, but the mayor suggested the final rate of `10,000. He said in the previous year, the committee had also proposed to erect around 200 unipoles in the city, but the Amritsar-based private company that had a contract for ads on unipoles till 2017 got a stay from the high court, due to which the proposal was taken back.
Sushil Rinku, another committee member, said the policy would help check illegal hoardings in the city while enhancing the civic body’s income.
As per MC records, since the present mayor, Sunil Jyoti, has taken over reins of the municipal corporation in September 2012, it has failed to achieve its advertising revenue targets (see box).