Senate panel suggests hiking PNCA budget

Council’s director says enhanced budget would help organise artist convention


News Desk August 24, 2017
PHOTO: PNCA

In a bid to promote local languages and foster different cultures of the country, a Senate panel on Wednesday suggested that budget for the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) should be increased.

This was suggested during a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee for Less Developed Areas which was held at the Senate Secretariat.

PNCA Managing Director Jamal Shah told the meeting that council had so far organised 239 cultural activities this year. Highlighting that promoting the national culture was the basic purpose of the organisation, a national cultural exhibition will be organised at the PNCA for the first time in 12 years.

Giving details of the organisation’s budget, he said that PNCA receives Rs150 million, most of which is spent in paying the salaries and pensions of staff. He urged the government to increase the budget to Rs560 million.

With the revised budget, Shah said, the PNCA could seek to organise a three-day national artiste convention apart from setting up an artist’s council. He noted that remunerations for artists were low and most of them were facing financial crises.

Senator Mir Kabir said this sector has always been ignored and highlighted the case of renowned Baloch artist Faiz Baloch, who was hardly making ends meet.

Senator Robina Irfan said that both the federal and provincial governments should introduce Balochi in the syllabus and that Shah should be appointed as the cultural ambassador of the provincial government.

Senator Jahanzeb Jamaldini said that proper planning for the promotion of cultural activities should be carried out. The national and regional programmes should be designed in line with the modern trends and cultural training institutes should be opened, he demanded.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2017.

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