BANGALORE: To ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of grants released to various academies, the state government plans to make social audit by a third party mandatory, Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree said on Friday.
After felicitating chairpersons of various academies and its members, the minister said NGOs will be asked to conduct the social audit and submit a report to the government.
Stating that annual grants to various academies have been enhanced from `60 lakh to `1 crore, Umashree called upon the institutions to take their activities like developing and promoting art, language and culture to small towns and villages. Focus of academies should not be Bangalore centric, she said.
Taking note of the plight of artistes and delay in payment of honorarium, she said the department has a proposal to disburse money directly to the artistes bank account.
She said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has agreed
to clear all pending applications seeking pension for artistes and all the 1,470 petitions will be cleared very shortly.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also promised to lift the embargo of only 400 applications per year, Umashree said.
She also said the honorarium to chairpersons of 11 academies has been increased from `5,000 to `20,000 and the local allowance from `5,000 to `10,000.
The telephone allowance of the chairperson has been fixed at `36,000 per year, she said.
The minister also promised to make efforts to get land for the construction of buildings to house the academies in Bangalore.
Sahitya Academy chairperson Malathi Pattanasetty appealed to the government to pay the salaries and perks to the employees of the academies from the consolidated fund timely.
She also hailed the state’s decision to increase the annual grants to the academies.
The minister had felicitated the chairpersons and members of the Karnataka Lalithakala, Janapada, Sangeetha Nruthya, Yakshagana Bayalata, Shilpakala, Karnataka Book Authority, Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Authority, Tulu and Beary Academy on the occasion.