NA panel directs PNCA to devise mechanism preventing theft of paintings


— Marriyum Aurangzeb says IBNH&LH introduced loan schemes to support, encourage new filmmakers


ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage on Thursday directed the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) director general to devise a mechanism to avoid instances of missing paintings in future.

The committee meeting, chaired by Pir Aslam Bodla, was apprised that as many as 104 paintings were reported missing in the year 2015.

The committee was discussing the issue of missing paintings of renowned painters from the PNCA. Representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) stated that the PNCA had shared only a partial record on the matter with the FIA, if a complete information and inquiry report would have been submitted to the FIA; a delay would not have been possible.

On his this contention, the PNCA DG answered that a complete inquiry report done on the matter had already been shared with the FIA and to avoid such instances in future evaluation and authentication of paintings process had already been initiated by the PNCA.

Arifa Khalid Pervaiz and Dr Azhar Khan Jadoon stated that they were extremely disappointed how the PNCA and the FIA were shifting responsibility to each other. The committee recommended that the PNCA should share the inquiry report with the committee as well, to which Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera said the division with the help of PNCA would share the inquiry report with the committee within three days and the FIA representative also committed that the FIA would also prepare an inquiry report and present to the committee before its next meeting.

The Information and Broadcasting Secretary briefed the committee about the status of establishment of new channels, PTV Kids and PTV Parliament. The committee was informed that the Annual Development Programme had already approved the proposals regarding PTV Parliament and it would be up and running within four months after the budget and for the PTV Kids channel, PC-1 had been established and the work on the establishment of the said channel was under process.

Minister of State Marriyum Aurangzeb, while briefing the committee about the film and culture policy, stated that the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage had proposed income tax (export duties and sales tax) exemptions on the export of equipment for film and drama industry.

Loan schemes were also introduced to support and encourage new filmmakers, who were interested in making films, theatre or art academies. Artists’ assistant fund was also going to be established to financially assist artists for their healthcare.

The minister stated that tackling and regulating pirated material was going to be their priority because of that cinema industry was facing financial troubles since long. The committee appreciated the hard work of the minister of state and information and broadcasting secretary for their dedication towards building a strong film industry supporting Pakistani culture and traditions and decided that the committee would write a letter to the Finance Ministry requesting that the proposals made by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage for budget could be approved.

IBNH&LH secretary assured that pensioners of the PTV would be paid their dues as a summery had already been sent to the Prime Minister Office for the release of grant.

The committee expressed condolences on the death of Chairman Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla’s mother and offered Fateha for the departed soul.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Khan Daha, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Arifa Khalid Parvez, Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail, Belum Hasnain, Dr Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Saman Sultana Jaffri, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Naeema Kishwer Khan, senior officials of the Ministry of Information Broadcasting Division, PNCA and officers of the FIA also attended the meeting.