Culture Ministry headed by PM gets a rap

Even while the panel advocated more fund allocation to the Culture Ministry, it lambasted the ministry for its failure to utilise its allocations, which in the revised Budget estimates was much lower than the original allocations, in the first three years of the Eleventh Five Year Plan, “as in the past”.

“Underutilisation of funds by the Culture Ministry is a recurring phenomenon year after year,” the Standing Committee attached to it said. The committee asked the ministry to identify the bottlenecks and take corrective measures.
During 2009-10, it pointed out, while the allocation was reduced from Rs 700 crore to Rs 630 crore in the revised estimates, the ministry failed to spend even that, ending up with using only Rs 533.40 crore.

Criticising the government’s attitude towards culture, the committee said while the projected demand of the Ministry was Rs 4,965.99 crore during the Eleventh Plan, the Planning Commission allocated just Rs 3,524.11 crore to it.

The government has also been criticised for its failure to develop a National Culture Policy. “The government has neither shown any long-term vision nor any substantial short-term action to arrest the decay that has set it. The Ministry of Culture must move its wheels to generate a vision for the future ,” the committee said.
The ministry has also been criticised for letting several leading cultural institutions of the country remain headless for years.

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