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Culture Ministry gets more allocations in Union Budget

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) With a focus on celebrations under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ programme commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence, the outlay for annual budget 2023-24 of the Ministry of Culture has been enhanced to Rs 3,399.65 crore as against an outlay of Rs 3,009.05 crore approved in the previous Budget plan of 2022-2023. The annual outlay in FY 2023-24 is 12.97 per cent higher than the annual outlay of FY 2022-23.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech on Wednesday made an announcement to set up Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (BharatSHRI), a digital epigraphy museum, with the digitisation of one lakh ancient inscriptions in the first stage.

The BharatSHRI will be set up by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Hyderabad.

Out of the total outlay for Budget 2023-24, Rs 1,102.83 crore has been allocated to the ASI for protection, preservation and conservation of Centrally protected monuments/sites and excavations of ancient monuments and archaeological sites.

There is an increase of 2.08 per cent of provisioned outlay for ASI in BE 2023-2024 (Rs 1,102.83 crore) as compared to BE 2022-23 of Rs 1,080.34 crore.

The Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 1,046.22 crore to the central autonomous bodies, which include academies, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions across India to support their programmes and activities.

This outlay includes provisions for two attached offices, six subordinate offices, 34 central autonomous bodies and schemes of the Ministry during the financial year 2023-24.

In FY 2023-24, an enhanced amount of Rs 650.74 crore (22.19 per cent) has been allocated for the implementation of the Central sector schemes of the ministry.

The Ministry of Culture being the nodal agency for ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, a special provision has been made under the centenary and anniversary celebration scheme of the ministry in the revised outlay of FY 2022-23 and in the Budget outlay of FY 2023-24 to undertake commemoration activities.

As per the anticipated expenditure for ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and other commemorations, the revised estimate has been increased to Rs 353.82 crore from the budget estimate of Rs 110.00 crore during the current year.

For FY 2023-24, a provision of Rs 185.00 crore has been made to commemorate the centenaries/birth anniversaries of eminent persons. The provision for 2023-24 under this scheme marks a 68.18 per cent increase over BE 2022-23.