NEW DELHI: Amid allegations that the Culture Ministry provided fund for World Culture Festival, the Centre today said it has not extended any financial support for the event but Rs 2.25 crore was given to Art of Living Foundation as part of "routine" grant to organisations promoting art and culture.
The fund has been given to the Art of Living (AOL) Foundation as part of the Culture Ministry's financial assistance to organisations promoting art and culture in the country, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said.
"Culture Ministry has not given any money for organising this function... Even the Art of Living Foundation never asked for money from the government for organising this particular event," Sharma told PTI.
He said it is "routine process" wherein "the Ministry provides funds to organisations with national presence and working in the field of promoting culture, folk dances and art and craft".
The quantum of funds range between Rs 1-5 crore, he said, citing the example of Spic Macay which also received similar grant. Macay is a voluntary body that promotes classical music and dance.
The Minister said the government receives nearly 100 applications every year from various organisations and "there is a committee which decides about the quantum of funding as well the organisation to be supported."
The cultural extravaganza, which will be organised on the floodplains of Yamuna, has drawn the ire of National Green Tribunal for environmental violations.
Yesterday, the green tribunal had imposed a fine of Rs five crore on AOL as environmental compensation while clearing the decks for the three-day event.