Temporary ads to mushroom with KMC waiving tax

KOLKATA: Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) decision to waive advertisement tax on temporary banners, festoons and hoardings put up on the bamboo structures during the festive season, is likely to see the temporary ads mushrooming across the city during the Durga Puja.

“Though government’s decision to waive corporation tax on advertisements put up by Puja organisers during the festive season will cost the civic exchequer crores, it will benefit the Puja committee. Companies like Parle, Kurlon, Vodafone, Aircel, ITC have started their advertisement campaigns,” said West Bengal Outdoor Advertising Association treasurer and grievance committee convener Ashif Kumar Biswas.

Biswas recalls that last year, the KMC authorities had called for a tender and had mopped up over Rs 1 crore as price for collection of advertisement tax from temporary banners, festoons and hoardings. “However, at the last moment, the tender was cancelled after chief minister Mamata Banerjee suddenly announced the waiver,” he said.

“City based small and medium businesses will be encouraged to put up more outdoor advertising and promote their business further and reach out to a broader mass”, said Let’s Assist Digital Services director Prasit Bhattacharya.

“The advertising agencies should also offer some discounts which will encourage businesses to try out temporary advertising,” he feels.

While Fame Per Second chief dreamer Suman Sen opines: “This was the best opportunity for the state government to mop up funds and later use for some good cause.”
“So it is cheaper for advertisers now especially when the economy is not doing well and companies are not spending on advertisement. Puja Committees can hope for more advertisers backing them now,” said a city based media buying agency.

The city would be all cluttered with advertisements for next 10 days, states another planner, adding that many advertising companies are likely to make a lot of unaccounted money from such a tax-free venture.

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