Govt taking measures for welfare of literary people: Irfan Siddiqui

MULTAN, March 19 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui on Sunday said the government was taking all possible measures for welfare of literary people.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the office of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) here, he said the PAL office in Multan
was a the present government’s gift for the literary persons of South Punjab. The government would continue to facilitate them in future too, he added.
He said on the prime minister’s directives, a number of steps had been taken to develop literary culture and norms in the country.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, he said, had increased the allocation for endowment fund for the welfare of literary people from Rs 300 million to Rs 500 million. The fund amount would be deposited in a bank and spent on welfare projects for the literary people. “We have constituted a committee for proper and effective utilisation of the fund,” he added.
He said the government had also increased the number of scholarships for literary persons from 500 to 1,000. Similarly, the number of awards for writers, poets, critics and other literary persons had also been raised from 12 to 20, which would be given on merit.
Accidental death and health cover grants for them had also been enhanced considerably, he said.
“We are also working on a plan to support writers, who have no resources to get their literary works published. For this purpose a local level committee will be formed, which will analyze transcripts and take a decision to releasefunds for their publishing,” he added.
Irfan Siddiqui also lauded Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana for making efforts for the establishment of a PAL office in Multan. Writers, poets and critics always delivered good to society as people took guidance from their works, he added.
Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwan, PAL Chairman Qasim Baghio, Khalid Masood, Dr Aslam Ansari, Dr Najma Shaheen Khosa, Chaudhry Zulfiqar, Hafeez Khan and many other literary persons belonging to South Punjab attended the ceremony.