AS MANY as eight advertisement agencies owe Rs 25.79 crore to the Chandigarh civic body. Of the total dues, Selvel Media Services alone owes Rs 21.06 crore. Giving details of the pending dues along with penal interest up to March 31, 2018, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has written to District Magistrate Ajit Balaji Joshi to recover the money from the defaulter agencies and initiate action under the Punjab Land Revenue Act.
“It is stated that this office had earlier served several notices to these advertisement agencies on September 1, 2016, for recovery of advertisement fees under Section 98(A) of Chapter VII of the Punjab Land Revenue Act 1987 but none of the advertising agencies has deposited the advertisement fee with reference to notices sent by MC Chandigarh,” the letter written by Additional Commissioner stated.
It further stated, “Thereafter, this office requested your office to recover Rs 20.45 crore from Selvel Media Services Private Limited. But in spite of all this, the advertisement agency has failed to deposit the amount of Rs 20.45 crore which was earlier calculated till September 30, 2016.”
The District Magistrate has been given the updated figure after calculation of the penal interest.
“Now, this office has again calculated the recoverable advertisement fee plus penalty with interest and taxes up to March 31, 2018, which has become Rs 25.72 crore. It is therefore requested that the amount of Rs 25.79 crore may be recovered from the advertisement agencies as per details mentioned against each under Section 98 of Punjab Land Revenue Act and action taken report be sent,” the letter added.
A few years ago, the CBI had registered a case against the MC and company officials for causing a loss of around Rs 13.66 crore to the state exchequer by awarding tenders to the company for maintaining sanitation of 86 public toilets for five years in 2007. The CBI had also filed a chargesheet in the case. Thereafter, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the framing of charges against Selvel Media and other advertising agencies.