Punjab govt to create fund for artists

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

Punjab government has decided to set up Artists Social Support System (ASSS) in the province to help, facilitate artists needing socio-economic support to survive. This fund will provide financial grant and social protection so that the helpless artists may not face unfavorable circumstances.
It may be added here that Punjab government has already released Rs.50 million to give grant to registered 137 deserving artists belonging to different districts of the province. The grant will be distributed in next 48 hours.
Punjab Minister for Information and Excise & Taxation, Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said this while presiding over a meeting about artists social support system at Alhamra Arts Council Committee Room on Wednesday. Different officials including Secretary Information Raja Jahangir Anwar, Addl. Secretary Information Shahid Iqbal, Addl. Secretary Tahir Raza Hamdani and others attended the meeting. The meeting discussed launch of ASSS by the government and termed it as an important milestone towards welfare of the artist community.
The Minister said that ASSS will cover all the 36 districts of the province. He said that Punjab government is committed to provide all out support to the artist community and with the launch of ASSS, different artists living in tehsils and districts across the province will be able to lead a respectful life and serve the mission of promoting art and culture. He said that Punjab is rich in culture and it is sanguine that the artists are fully committed to serve the art and culture.
Chief Minister Punjab has given importance to the promotion of culture and different steps have been taken to facilitate the artist community, he added. He said that deserving artists will be issued Khidmat Cards to benefit from the fund. He also directed that the artists should be included in Prime Minister’s Health Card Scheme so that they could enjoy best healthcare facilities without being burdened.
This credit goes to PML-N government that it has always supported the artist community and provided them conducive atmosphere for the exhibition of their artistic talent, he added. The meeting observed that ASSS would go a long way in providing sustained livelihood opportunities to the artists.

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