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Punjab Municipal outdoor ad policy gets cabinet nod

In a move that is expected to generate an additional Rs 200 crore in revenue for the state, the Punjab cabinet today approved the ‘Punjab Municipal Outdoor Advertisement Policy-2018’, aimed at regulating the process of outdoor advertising in order to address technological changes in the field, while ensuring enhanced public safety.

The new policy, okayed by the cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, stipulates provisions relating to permissible content on outdoor advertisement and also provides for identification of suitable places where advertisement rights can be awarded.

In the absence of such a policy, the government was being deprived of much-needed revenue while private companies were making money, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu told the cabinet, underlining the need for drastic changes to the existing outdoor advertising system.

Giving details, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the policy was aimed at awarding advertising rights through e-tendering/e-auction/e-bidding by municipalities, without causing traffic or any other type of hindrance in the towns. Not only will this ensure total transparency in the system but will also enhance public safety, he said.

Under the policy, separate advertisement sites/spaces have been proposed to be reserved for government advertisement/display which can be utilized by the government whenever required. Further, it provides that certain advertisement sites/spaces be reserved for social and religious works which should not be awarded by tender but should be allotted by the Municipalities to prevent any obstacle to social and cultural activities. The Policy bars any advertisement on historical and archaeological buildings etc.

Elaborating further on the salient features of the new policy, the spokesperson said that the Municipal Corporations/Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats have been empowered to regulate the outdoor advertisement within their jurisdiction effectively. Taking into consideration the revenue resulting from advertising, separate categories for advertisement devices have been formulated. To ensure transparency and hassle-free approvals for outdoor advertisement, specific procedure and time frame has been fixed. Apart from these, details regarding the permissible content on the outdoor advertisement have been provided in the policy.

The spokesperson said the Local Government Department had examined the existing Outdoor Advertisement Policies/byelaws of the municipalities of the neighbouring states like Haryana, Delhi etc. After examining all the issues meticulously, the Department formulated a draft of Punjab Municipal Outdoor Policy-2018, by amending the existing ‘The Punjab Outdoor Advertisement Policy-2012’.

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