Social auditing to ascertain use of funds by cultural academies

Social auditing to ascertain use of funds by cultural academies

Social auditing to assess the utilisation of grants provided to various cultural academies in State will be done by external agencies in a bid to usher in transparency in their functioning, Minister of State for Kannada and Culture, Umashree, announced in Bangalore on Friday.

Speaking at an interaction with the presidents and members of various cultural academies, Umashree said the findings of the audits would be put up in the public domain. Cultural academies get grants running into lakhs of rupees and social audits would help in ensuring that the funds are efficiently utilised, Umashree said.

She said the Kannada and Culture Department will transfer the honorarium paid to artistes and artisans, who participate in cultural utsavs /festivals, directly to their bank accounts.

The move follows complaints that the honorarium released by the government for various cultural festivals was not reaching the participants. The minister said the department had received 1,670 applications from artistes for monthly honorarium and that they had been pending for many years. The Finance Department had recently cleared 470 applications and the remaining were being processed, she said.

Several suggestions were made at the meeting, including that the government should bear the salaries paid to the presidents and members of the academies instead of drawing it from the corpus fund of the academies.

It was also suggested that the cash prize for various awards instituted by the Kannada and Culture Department and various academies should be increased. Umashree said the government will actively consider the suggestions and take early decisions.

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