Art & Culture Budget Guide | India Union Budget, 2021-22

Topics

Financial Management
Legal and Policy
Planning and Governance
Reporting and Evaluation

The need for this report was necessitated by the absence of a critical engagement with, and analysis of, government policies and programmes for support to arts and culture. As in other sectors, the pandemic has adversely impacted art and culture, but only more severely. Many art forms and practices are on the verge of extinction or decay as they have been languishing over decades for want of resources. Most consequentially, social security of the many dependent for livelihoods in this sector has been perennially ignored. This begs for introspection – if welfare schemes discuss and provide financial security for the poor across other sectors, then why is this not the case for the arts? Allocations for MoC as a proportion of GoI budget have remained marginal for the last decade, averaging at 0.11%. For the last five years though, they have shown a declining trend falling to a minuscule 0.07% in FY22 – the lowest in the last 10 years. Allocations in 2021-22 stand at ₹2,688 crore, ₹461 crore less than last year. This 15% reduction comes on top of 30% mid-year downward revision of culture budget for last year. In the light of declining public funds for the sector, Sahapedia hopes that this study will initiate a much-needed conversation on government support to the art and culture sector. It also invites policy makers and other stakeholders to critically analyse policies affecting the sector. And reinvigorating public and private participation in preserving and conserving India’s rich cultural heritage.

Authors: Padmapriya Janakiraman, Maansi Verma for Sahapedia

Key Findings

  • Allocations for MoC as a proportion of GoI budget have remained marginal for the last decade, averaging at 0.11%. For the last five years though, they have shown a declining trend falling to a miniscule 0.07% in FY22 – the lowest in the last 10 years. Similarly, allocation to the tourism sector – a key economic driver for the culture sector – has seen a dip of 26% in FY 22 from the last year.
  • Mid-year revision during the lockdown saw the budget on art and culture across Ministries being slashed by 21%, further aggravating the resource crunch in the sector. As per an industry survey, due to the pandemic, 22% of the creative sector is forecast to lose 75% of its annual income and 16% face closure.
  • Low allocations were further compounded by delays in fund release and mounting vacancies ranging from 30-70% in institutions supported by the MoC. This adversely affected planning for activities and actual expenditures in the culture sector, resulting in a vicious cycle.

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