Relief for Mumbai OOH as HC issues interim order on license fee for May
By Bhawana Anand - May 26, 2020
BMC directed not to collect fee for May or initiate any coercive measures against OOH media owners
The crisis-hit Mumbai OOH heaved a sigh of relief after the Bombay High Court issued an interim order directing Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not to impose licensing fee on hoardings for the month of May or initiate any penal action on the media owners on that count. Earlier, the media owners had approached the Court with the plea for waiver of license fee considering there was zero business recorded on the hoardings in that month. This initiative was led by Bright Outdoor Media and Creation Publicity.
The Court directed that BMC shall not take any coercive against media owners for non-payment of license fee during the lockdown period till further notice. The next Court hearing is scheduled on June 2, 2020.
Commenting on this situation, Yogesh Lakhani, CMD, Bright Outdoor Media said, “We are glad that we were able to get some relief for media owners. Moreover, our initiative will also encourage media owners in other states to take a similar path to get some relief from the concerned authorities.” He is hopeful that the final order will also be in favour of the OOH industry.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Hoardings Owners’ Association has submitted a letter to BMC requesting for a waiver of license fee of all 1,134 hoardings that are featuring COVID-19 awareness messages since March 16 wherein as per the sources only selective 360 sites have been exempted as of now. Furthermore, the association has also written to the BMC Commissioner to wavier off the composition charges for 3 months. The association is looking for a positive revert from the corporation.
BMC had earlier waived off the license fee for the month of March 2020.