India/ 6.2 Public cultural expenditure  

6.2.1 Aggregated indicators

The annual economic survey of India, published along with the national budget, does not specially distinguish culture, but integrates it into the broad area of the social services. Chapter 13 on Human Development, from the Economic Survey 2011-12[1] includes the social services as ‘education, sports, art and culture, medical and public health, family welfare, water supply and sanitation, housing, urban development, welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes, labour and labour welfare, social security, nutrition, and relief for natural calamities’. Many of these components do include the cultural sector in the broad sense. The Survey states that expenditure on social services as a proportion of total expenditure increased from 21.6 % in 2006-07 to 24.1 % in 2009-10 and further to 25 % in 2011-12. As a proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP), its share increased from 5.57 % in 2006-07 to 6.76 %, 6.91 %, and 7.34 % in 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 respectively, helping India face the global crisis without much adverse impact on the social sector. In 2011-12, it is expected to be 6.74 % as per the budget estimate.


The alarming news is perhaps that although expenditure on big-ticket expenses such as education and health have gone up, the ‘others’ category (which includes arts & culture) shows a decline. Education as a proportion of GDP has increased from 2.72% in 2006-07 to 3.11 % in 2011-12 (budget estimate), and expenditure on health has increased from 1.25% in 2006-07 to 1.30 % in 2011-12 (budget estimate), of the total social services expenditure, but ‘Others’ has fallen in 2011-12 (budget estimate) as against the previous year. It is therefore likely that overall expenditure (Central + State) has actually fallen in the cultural domain. The relevant table has been excerpted from the Economic Survey below:

Chapter published: 22-04-2014