Difficult to allocate public fund to art and culture: Centre

Source: The post is based on the article “Difficult to allocate public fund to art and culture: Centre” published in The Hindu on 20th March 2023.

What is the News?

Recently, the Culture Ministry has said that it might not be “tenable” for a developing nation like India to allocate a considerable proportion of its public fund to the promotion of art and culture.

About the issue

A parliamentary committee has made an observation that the allocation of the Ministry of Culture was just 0.075% of the total Budget this year. This was in sharp contrast to countries like China, the U.K., U.S., Singapore and Australia which spend roughly 2%-5% of their Budget on the promotion of art and culture.

Why India’s public fund to art and culture is less?

In response to the parliamentary committee observation, the Ministry has said that a) A majority of the amount spent on art and culture in the countries mentioned by the committee are sourced from non-government sources which is not the case in India, b) The ministry is able to increase its budgetary outlays over the years except during the COVID-pandemic period where priority was given to other social sector Ministries, and c) India experiences high disparity in elementary rural infrastructure like health, education and transportation, it might not be feasible to allocate a considerable proportion of its public fund.

Read more: Monuments in India: issues and Challenges

How India is promoting public funding of art and culture?

The report submitted by the Department Related Standing Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture said that the “culture should be an area where a large part of expenditure needs to be sourced from non-government sources”.

Based on that, the Ministry is working on innovative methods to maximise the participation of non-government organisations. For instance, the ministry has unveiled the Monument Mitra scheme. Under this scheme, the government aims to hand over around 1,000 monuments under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the private sector for their upkeep.

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