'We are expecting more tax revenues from hoardings'
By Amaan Kazmi - December 19, 2017
In the last one year OOH media owners doing business in the city of Pune have been expressing concern over the downslide in their business, pointing in particular to advertising norms laid down by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The civic body in its part is decidedly taking strong action to curb unauthorised OOH media in the city. Tushar Daundkar, Deputy Commissioner, Sky Sign Department, PMC, talks about the department’s outlook on regulating the business, and setting the tax rates, in an interview to Media4Growth. Edited excerpts:
What is the present tax rate for hoardings?
Pune Municipal Corporation levies advertisement tax at Rs 222 per sq. ft per annum.
Is the Sky Sign Department getting expected revenues from outdoor advertising?
Pune Municipal Corporation charges the highest advertising tax in the state of Maharashtra after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The Sky Sign Department gets Rs 24-25 crore yearly. In Pune the demand for hoardings is increasing and so we are expecting more tax revenues from hoardings.
As Pune is transforming into a smart city, some of the hoardings are being removed by PMC. Are the media owners compensated for it?
As per Section 244, 245 and Advertisement Control Rule 2003 of Municipal Corporation Act, illegal hoardings are removed by PMC and we charge compensation to the concerned advertisers as per rule.
What are the difficulties involved in removing illegal hoardings?
The officials face many difficulties while removing illegal hoardings, boards, banners, flex, etc., like political pressure, harassments, allegations, and threats from people who oppose removal of hoardings. Some advertisers get stay orders from the Hon’ble Court time to time then PMC cannot remove the hoardings before the court orders.
Most important, is PMC planning to increase the tax rate or bring in any other new policy related to hoardings?
PMC is planning to increase the advertisement tax. The Hon. Commissioner has given the orders for it. The department is working on it.
Any upcoming tenders?
Recently we got an e-auction underway for gantries which are under the PMC possession and we will get around Rs 4 crore revenue from this.