Government academies paralysed without annual grants

Government academies paralysed without annual grants

Chairmen of Sahitya and Urdu academies threaten to resign

They have put the government on notice that they would resign if funds were not released immediately for their institutions. The annual grant of each academy is Rs 20 lakh. Besides the annual grant, the government had assured to release a special grant of Rs 20 lakh to each academy. The academies have not received their regular annual grant in full, leave alone receive the promised special grant.

Karnataka Sahitya Academy has received only Rs 6 lakh, in the 10 months of the financial year 2009-10. Other academies have received Rs 10 lakh, leaving them in dire straits. The Urdu Academy, for instance owes nearly Rs 20 lakh to various service providers.

Sahitya Academy Chairman Prof M H Krishnaiah had at a recent function revealed he had warned the Department of Kannada and Culture that he would resign as chairman if the amount was released within 15 days. “What is the point in continuing in the office, when there is no work to do?”, he asked.

He said the shortage of funds had affected the work on the academy’s website, which showcases contributions of Kannada writers. “The academy has chalked out programmes for the entire year. If the funds are not released, it is difficult to run the show”, he said.
Urdu Academy Chairman Khaleel Mamoon has written to the Chief Minister that he would not continue in the post if the government did not fulfil its assurance to increase the annual grant to Rs 60 lakh.

“The CM had announced in the legislature that he would increase the grant to the academy. In anticipation of the funds the academy conducted many programmes. Now we owe nearly Rs 20 lakh to the service providers. The academy is not in a position to take up new programmes”, he said.

Mamoon blamed the officers of Kannada and Culture Department for the delay in release of funds.

The Nataka Academy is also expecting the release of Rs 10 lakh to hold district-level theatre festivals in January and February 2010. However, Academy chairman B V Rajaram was not critical of the government for not releasing funds.

“Unprecedented floods have hit the State and it would be unfair to demand special grants to hold theatre festivals. But the government should not delay releasing the regular grants”, he said.