ISLAMABAD: The 18th amendment implementation commission has decided in principle to devolve the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) to provinces.
According to documents available with The Express Tribune, Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi chaired a meeting of the federal and provincial bureaucracy on Monday to discuss matters related to devolution of the culture ministry.
Participants unanimously decided to transfer film censor boards located in Lahore and Karachi to the respective provincial governments along with assets and staff. Other provincial governments will establish their own boards. Provincial governments will also make any required legislation.
Participants also decided that those laid off in the Federal Film Censor Board, Islamabad, and other provinces will be transferred to provincial governments according to their domiciles.
Meanwhile, it was decided that Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex, Iqbal Academy and Quaid-e-Azam Academy, which appear in the Federal Legislative List, will remain with the centre. However, provinces will be duly represented in the board of governors, executive committees and management committees of the organisation.
The federal government will also retain the Pakistan National Council of Arts, Lok Virsa and other organisations for cultural promotion in Islamabad. Provincial governments will be duly represented on the board and executive committees and will nominate private members.
The provincial governments will dispatch cultural troupes to foreign countries for promotion of culture after obtaining a No-Objection Certificate from the Foreign Office or other focal ministry. They will also be empowered to enter into cultural pacts, agreements, protocols with foreign countries for bilateral and multilateral cultural activities.
All archaeological sites and remains presently controlled by the federal government will be transferred to provincial governments including site museums. However, the commission is yet to decide on the devolution of National Museum, Karachi, Taxila and Islamabad.
Provincial governments believe that all museums should be transferred to the respective provinces.
The federal government may consider establishing a museum at the national level in Islamabad with artefacts borrowed from provincial governments.
The implementation commission will devolve five ministries; culture, tourism, education, special education and social welfare and livestock and dairy development to provinces by the end of February.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2011.