Govt slashes funds for heritage division

Plans to build an auditorium in PAL building, constructing regional office

Our Correspondent June 12, 2019
Cultural directorate instructed to preserve heritage sites. PHOTO: Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has earmarked Rs128 million for seven ongoing and one new scheme for the National History and Literary Heritage Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2019-20.

According to the budget documents, the government had allocated Rs551 million in the initial budget presented last year, but it only released Rs80 million during the year.

This year, it has decided to slash the allocated budget down to just Rs128 million or brought down to a fifth of its original size.

The documents showed that Rs118.016 million have been allocated for ongoing schemes and Rs10 million has been allocated for new schemes.

It has allocated Rs10 million for building a regional office of the Pakistan Academy of Letters in Quetta.

As part of ongoing schemes, the government has allocated Rs14 million for the construction of an auditorium at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) building in Islamabad.

Govt slashes non-salary budget by 10%

A further Rs13.5 million have been allocated for the construction of an office building, a conference hall, a guest house, a committee room and a library at the PAL provincial office in Peshawar.

Moreover, the federal government has allocated Rs22.835 million for digitalisation of rare books and manuscripts in the collection of the National Library of Pakistan in Islamabad.

A further Rs24 million have been allocated for upgrading the National Library.

Further, the government has allocated Rs21.3 million for the building and operation of a municipal waste water treatment plant in the peripheral area of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi.

The documents showed that Rs10.61 million have been allocated for mapping historical and religious sites in the country while Rs11.644 million have been allocated for the preservation, restoration and presentation of the Rawat Fort near Islamabad.

The government has also earmarked Rs1.171 billion for current expenditures of the division.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2019.

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