Noida’s ad revenue collection hamstrung by lack of policy
The Noida authority is unable to cash in on advertisement spaces for lack of a policy to govern the process. In June 2017, then authority chairman Alok Sinha had passed an order in this regard, the Noida authority is yet to formulate an advertising policy to govern advertising department properly.
The authority needs to have a policy for its advertisement department so that advertising rights can be sold without bias or favour, officials said. In the absence of a policy, the authority has been unable to earn revenue from leasing out public spaces for advertisements. A policy is needed to lay the guidelines for leasing public spaces available on foot overbridges (FOBs), roadsides, government buildings and unipoles.
The authority, at present, earns a revenue of Rs 12 crore a year through advertisements. In September 2017, the authority decided to hire a private agency to help formulate a policy.
“But the authority could not engage an agency as only one agency applied for the job in tendering process. As per the norms, we cannot select an agency for such jobs until more than two agencies take part in the tender. Later, in January 2018, the authority hired Ernst and Young (EY) to help enhance revenue of all departments. Now, EY will also form a policy for our department,” SC Mishra, senior project engineer, Noida authority, who is in charge of the advertising department, said.
The Noida authority chief executive officer Alok Tandon had on January 17, 2018, suspended project engineer BK Singh for alleged financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 25 crore in the advertising department.
BK Singh, who headed the advertisement department for the last five years, allegedly did not recover revenue from builders, malls and other private companies. The CEO suspended him after conducting an inquiry following multiple complaints filed by residents.
The advertisement policy will help the Noida authority charge a fee from private or government agencies for leasing out public spaces for advertisements.
In the past, the authority got FOBs constructed on a ‘built, operate and transfer’ policy, it essentially means that the authority got the FOBs made for free. The private agency was recovering the construction cost through leasing space for advertisements.
Ernst and Young is surveying all departments such as water, advertising, sewer, group housing, land and residential plot, among others.
“This agency is also having discussions with officials in each department before coming up with ideas as to how the revenue can be increased in each department. The agency is likely to give its report by March-end. We hope that once Ernst and Young’s report comes, the advertising department may also be able to double its present revenue from of 12 crore,” said Mishra.