Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday said his department has set a target of Rs 150 crore annual revenue from outdoor advertisement in all urban local bodies. He also lashed out at the previous SAD-BJP regime, accusing it of indulging in “theft” and causing loss to the state exchequer.
“The target of the income through outdoor advertisement has been fixed at Rs 150 crore in all the 167 urban local bodies (ULBs),” the minister told reporters here.
The local government minister said his department has taken several steps in plugging leakage of revenue from the advertisement which led to a significant jump in the income. “In Ludhiana city alone, the tender for outdoor advertisement has gone for Rs 28 crore, whereas during the Akali regime, the income from this city stood at a mere Rs 1.75 crore,” he said.
“The income of Rs 28 crore from Ludhiana is Rs 10 crore more than what Punjab used to earn annually from all 167 ULBs through advertisement under the previous regime. “You can well imagine the magnitude of theft. The cartels were formed and money was going to personal pockets during the Akali regime,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said with fresh tender allotted in Ludhiana for advertisements, the revenue generation is expected to be to the tune of Rs 289 crore in nine years. He said a comprehensive policy on outdoor advertisement was framed in March, 2018 with an objective of raising the income from this segment.
“After the launch of the new policy, the annual income of Municipal Corporation Moga has increased to Rs 1 crore as against the previous income of Rs 30 lakh, while that of Pathankot increased to Rs 67 lakh from Rs 20 lakh.
“Similarly, the annual income targets pertaining to Amritsar and Mohali cities have been set at Rs 20 crore each and the minimum base price concerning Jalandhar has been fixed at Rs 18.15 crore,” Sidhu said.
The minister said the increase in income would allow the urban local bodies to become self-dependent and enable them to spend on development works. He added that his department would also implement the online building plan approval in all municipal bodies in the state from January 15.