IOAA makes representation to govt bodies for financial relief in the face of COVID-19 fallout
By Bhawana Anand - March 30, 2020
The apex body has also highlighted the industry’s pro-active role in reinforcing critical public messaging
Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) has made a representation to central government authorities, chief ministers and chief secretaries of state governments, municipal corporations, and bodies like MMRDA to provide for measures to ease the financial burden on the Indian OOH industry that is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 economic fallout. The apex OOH industry body in its representation has cited that “the outdoor media industry, with an estimated annual revenue of Rs 5,000 crore, could see a drop in revenue to the extent of almost Rs 2,500 crores in the coming financial year. The pandemic has put our business on a ‘Pause’ mode forcing unprecedented losses and impacting the livelihood of more than a million employed in the industry.”
IOAA has called for the following measures in order for the OOH industry to tide over the looming crisis:
- Abolish charging of ‘Advertisement Tax’ in any form whatsoever.
- Waive off at least 50% of the ‘Licence fee’ for the financial year 2020-21. This would immensely.
- Defer the payment of GST for FY2020-21 - to be subsequently paid in FY2021-22.
- Defer all tendering or auctioning activities related to outdoor media by all local bodies until September 2020 and continue with the existing licences until then.
- Cover the cost of salaries / wages of those who have been infected by COVID-19 and who are unable to return to work.
- Declare the pandemic as natural calamity to be covered under ‘Force Majeure’ clause of all contracts.
Owing to the ongoing lockdown, IOAA has not heard back from the departments where it has made the representation.
The body is also working with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry to initiate dialogues with Central government authorities on OOH industry concerning matters.
IOAA has also highlighted in the representation how OOH serves as a powerful media vehicle for public messaging, and that the industry has been unflinchingly supporting the Central/state and local Government bodies in such matters.