The Municipal Corporation has admitted that the advertisements are being displayed outside malls across city without its permission. However, it has failed to take action to stop such violations due to the alleged political pressure.
The chairman of Shiv Sena, Punjab, Rajiv Tandon, has alleged that the son of public works department (PWD) minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon was running business of unauthorised advertisements that were being displayed outside some of the city malls without MC's permission.
Tandon said the MC had admitted in the reply of an RTI application that the MC had not given any permission to display advertisements outside city malls. Moreover, MC was not charging any tax for these advertisements, Tandon alleged.
However, MC has also assured in reply of the RTI application that it will charge advertisement tax as per the state government's notification.
He alleged that PWD minister's son Simranjit Singh Dhillon was one of the directors of the Leads Ads Private Limited, which displays advertisement outside some prominent city malls.
He claimed that due to the political pressure, no action was being taken against those, who were running unauthorised business of advertisements in the city.
He also alleged that most of the advertisements were being displayed by the Leads Ads company without getting permission from the MC.
MC could earn up to `50 crore every year from this advertisement, but nothing had been done just to provide benefit to the persons who had political support, he added.
“MC has failed to give salaries to its employees on time and MC has to take loan to give salary to its staff. But if MC pays attention towards these advertisements, it can earn good income, which will help to improve its financial condition,” he said.
When contacted, PWD minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon denied the allegations levelled by Shiv Sena chairman.
Dhillon said, “We never did any wrong thing and we will never do wrong in future. The allegations are totally baseless.”
PWD minister's relative Shavinder Singh Sandhu, who is also one of the active directors of the Leads Ads Company, also denied the allegations.
Sandhu said, “Those who have levelled allegations are not aware about the laws. These malls are commercial properties and MC had never contacted them to pay any taxes for displaying advertisements. We are ready to pay taxes if MC implements the laws. We have been just displaying advertisements in malls for the past one year, but these malls are seven-eight year old.”
Manjeet Singh, chief of advertisement wing of the MC, said, “I have recently taken charge of advertisement wing. It was not in my knowledge.”
Charanjeet Singh, inspector advertisement wing of the MC, said, “The bylaws of advertisement policy will be notified soon by the state government. The matter is under process to give permission for displaying advertisements.”