MHOA, FAMO, media owners in Delhi approach authorities for license fee waiver for a minimum of 3 months
By Bhawana Anand & Pray Jani - March 24, 2020
MHOA welcomes MCGM decision to waive off license fee on hoardings for one month
In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in India and its impact on Indian OOH business, large format media owners in Mumbai have got some relief from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) by way of a waiver of license fee payment for the month of March 2020. The Commissioner of MCGM Praveen Pardeshi decided to extend the support to hoarding owners operating in the city.
While the industry welcomes the MCGM decision with great satisfaction, they are hoping that the license fee payment waiver may be extended over a three month period, considering the anticipated lag effect of the current crisis.
Khalid Batliwala, President of Mumbai Hoarding Owners Association (MHOA), said, “As the situation worsens, we believe that a one-month waiver will not be sufficient for the industry. We are trying to seek a waiver for a quarter of the year, starting from April 2020. We will also put in a word to the railway department and the landlords on this. We are all partners and we are in this together. The outdoor advertising fraternity should pull together all their resources to come out of this situation.”
“MHOA has ensured that the OOH industry is always at the forefront of any social cause, be it for building public awareness about COVID-19 prevention or helping the traffic police department. We have always helped the community through our medium. We provided our hoardings to ensure people’s safety. We hope the talks with the authorities progress well and that we come out winners,” he said.
Likewise, various other regional media owners are understood to be local administration for similar fee waivers. In Delhi, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation has been approached by the media owners requesting for a relaxation in the license fee payment for a few months. However, nothing has materialised on that count as of now.
Also, the Federation of Airport Media Owners (FAMO), an airport media association, has approached the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation requesting for a license fee waiver on their assets for at least three months. The letter obtained by Media4Growth clearly states the industry that had already faced the brunt of the economic slowdown is now hit hard by the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We are looking for this support from the authority in these times of a global crisis,” said Shashi Chaudhary, President of FAMO.