‘Devolution affecting Centre-run projects’ | Pakistan Today

‘Devolution affecting Centre-run projects’

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting was told on Friday that transferring the functions of the Culture and Tourism Ministry after bifurcating it into five or six divisions had seriously affected the functions of certain projects being run by the federal government.
Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan was briefing the committee that was chaired by Belum Husnain.
Firdous said Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) had been given to the Ministry of Information and Culture, but its funds regarding artists’ visits abroad had been given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She said she had talked to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani about the issue.
Meanwhile, the committee gave its recommendation that the funds should be taken back from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and be given to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
It also directed the ministry to launch programmes for financial assistance of artists across the country.
The federal minister said her ministry would focus on promoting a softer image of the country and the Lok Virsa board of governors would be reconstituted soon.
She said the board of governors would be a true manifestation of national unity and would have representation from all regions of the country.
The minister ruled out inclusion of political elements in the board.
Moreover, the committee was briefed about the working and finances of the Lok Virsa and PNCA. Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javed told the committee that the organisation was given Rs 58.554 million in 2010-11 and Rs 60 million in 2011-12. He said the Pakistan Monument, which housed Pakistan Movement Museum, had been completed recently.
He told the committee that a TV channel under the auspices of Lok Virsa would be launched soon.
Javed added that the Lok Virsa Media centre would be upgraded with help the Norwegian government, which had promised to replace its old machinery.
PNCA Director General Tauqeer Nasir said PNCA was given Rs 39.604 million for non-development purposes and Rs 22.488 for development projects.
He said three projects concerning paintings and one for setting up a laboratory would be completed this year and PC 1 for establishing the National Centre for Performing Arts was near completion.
The Standing committee deferred the agenda items about PTV anchor persons’ salaries, new inductions and revenue generation for the next meeting of the committee.

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