With a new executive committee in place, the Mumbai Hoarding Owners Association (MHOA) is all geared to tackle issues that have been plaguing the outdoor industry body.
As is known, MHOA recently elected a new committee that includes Khalid Batliwalla (President), Altaf Rupani (Vice President), Bimal Vora (Secretary), Devesh Mittle (Joint Secretary), Cyrus Mehta (Treasurer), Kalpesh Vora (Joint Treasurer). The other committee members are Mangesh Borse, Bindu Mewar, Anil Aggarwal, Devdas Bandekar, Hiroo Thadani and Prashant Gopalkrishnan.
Some of the areas of concern that the committee will be focussing on include:
• Ending the tussle with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), review the new policy guidelines and seek a few relaxations in them
• Work towards rationalising the increasing licence fees and other taxes of BMC
Elaborating on issues that media owners are currently facing, Khalid Batliwalla, President, MHOA remarked, “The members of MHOA have always been battered from all quarters. Earlier, it was the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that was killing us. For survival, we had to engage several solicitors and advocates, which took a toll as huge monies had to be spent, leaving our coffers empty. Then BMC started to increase the yearly licence fees, assessment taxes and also started issuing mass revocation orders. We are left with no choice but to take legal recourse, which is going to cost our industry a lot.”
MHOA will also look at framing internal guidelines to be followed by its members in order to bring everybody on the same page. Apart from this, the committee will also be actively creating corpus funds in order to tackle any adversaries arising, for instance, legal recourses, which the Association will fight jointly rather than as individuals.
The Association will also be taking up issues with agencies and look at standardising rates, booking issues, timely purchase orders and payments issues. The MHOA currently has 70 members. Bimal Vora, Secretary, MHOA said that the body will be looking at widening the member base to ensure maximum participation over the next three months.
Reiterating this, Batliwalla said, “We need to strengthen our base, which is one of our top priorities, keeping in mind the number of adversaries that we have, and as an association, the number game is very helpful. The contribution towards corpus funds comes down drastically when there are 200 members instead of 70.”