Bhawana Anand, New Delhi
The media owner fraternity of Bengaluru conducted a meeting with the BBMP Commissioner to resolve the tax as well as an illegal media issue of the city. The objective of the meeting was to convince the authority to bring some relaxation in the penalty amount and come on a common ground to take this trade forward in a beneficial manner. However, the efforts of media owners went futile as the authority was pretty adamant on its decision.
The authority officials have set the target to collect at least Rupees 2000 Crore as a tax from the outdoor industry wherein they are demanding Rupees 18 lakhs-28 lakhs for 20/20 & 25/25 large format illegal sites. But the media owners requested for some reduction in the amount as their revenues from illegal sites haven't been lucrative enough. Moreover, even after demanding a hefty amount, the illegal sites won't be considered legal media. Media owners will have to participate and invest in the fresh tender procedure for these sites.
The matter has got even worse as the authority has involved the landlords of the illegal sites in this matter. The legal notices have been sent to the property owners asking them to pay taxes, and if they fail to pay, then their residential properties will be treated as commercial properties as well as their sanitation and water connections will be disconnected. This move of authority has soared up the tension of the media owners as landlords might remove the sites from their respective properties.
While all efforts went in vain, the media owners informed the authority that they will take the matter to the apex court. Answering to this, the authority said they are ready to face this challenge.