PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is all set to start paying Rs30,000 per month as a stipend to talented artistes and singers of the province for a year to promote positive and healthy activities in the province.
While talking to media on Wednesday, the Director Culture KPK Ajmal Khan said that the Directorate of Culture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is going to hold an important cultural tasks i.e. divisional cultural complexes in each division of the province, art academy and endowment fund for the welfare of artist, writer and artisans in the new fiscal year.
He said that Culture Department wanted to promote real face of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through promotion of art and culture in the province. He said the second phase of monthly stipend will also be started in coming month.
People would be inform about culture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on national and international level and for these purposes, certain projects related to culture, painting and photo graphs competition will be held for youth and students throughout the province.
He explained that Directorate is planning to start “Aiteraf e Fan Award” in which best drama artists, writers and singers of the year will receive along with sum of 3 lacs rupees.
He also said the said department will arrange exposures visits for the people of the other province. He invited attention of the people towards the business plan which has been planned for Afghan Metal works Zarqoon Handicrafts, traditional jewelry and begs.
“We are interested to restore film industry and will try to play a positive role in this regard,” he said. Ajmal Khan told to the media that a permanent art gallery will also be established in the Nishtar hall.
The KPK government had set aside a portion of the annual budget to pay the stipend and allow talented actors, singers, poets, painters to continue their work.
The budget allocation was made as a way of compensating artists of the province who had suffered due militancy.
“The government is making efforts to revive cultural activities of the province and to support artists of the province in producing quality work,” said Ajmal Khan. “This stipend will play a positive role in this regard.”
Last year, the KPK government had provided similar stipends to 500 artists in the province. The beneficiaries were selected by a committee of senior artists, singers and writers from different parts of the province.
The KPK government decided to continue the project this year as well since a large number of artists approached the culture department for financial assistance.
Currently their criteria for stipends does not require artists to be poor, rather it focuses on those who have produced quality work in their respective subjects.
Moreover, to provide these artists with avenues to showcase their talents, cultural complexes are being built in each division of the province. An art academy being built in Peshawar is expected to be completed soon.
He added that an endowment fund for the welfare of artists, writers and artisans will also be set up and a permanent art gallery will also be set up in Nishtar Hall.
Besides the monthly stipends, the officials said that the directorate will hand out the “Aiteraf-e-Fan Award” under which best drama actor, writer and singer of the year will be award Rs0.03 million to encourage them to produce quality work.
While replying to a question, he said that Culture Department has prepared draft of Culture policy and forwarded it to administrative department for further action for approval by provincial cabinet.