240. In recent years, a diminishing volume of budgetary financing has been directed towards cultural activities, with the result that there has been a significant decrease in the volume of directly productive activity by establishments responsible for culture and art. The expenditure part of the state budget in the area of culture remains at a minimum level, providing only for its survival. According to the Law On Culture the share of its financing in the state budget shall be 3 percent. However, the actual share of expenditure for culture was only 0.4 percent of GDP in 2000-2001. In 2002, the budget for culture in the Republic as a whole totaled about 282.0 million soms.
241. At present, libraries and club that are important to the population as elements of cultural infrastructure, are in an extremely difficult situation. For an overwhelming majority of the population of the Republic, especially for the inhabitants of remote areas, these establishments, as well as schools, are the only cultural oases.
242. Today only 28 percent of the population is served by public libraries. In recent years, the funds of the Republic’s libraries have decreased by 7.6 percent, the average rate of subscription to periodicals in the Republic have decreased 12 times, while about 30 percent of rural libraries have not received a single book, including periodicals. The supply of books to the population is decreasing. The problem is aggravated by the fact that 394 libraries (34.5 percent of their total number) have been closed in the Republic for the last 10 years and, as a result, the number of people attending libraries has decreased by 66.5 percent, children by 27 percent. Many libraries have been forced to reduce the number of staff and their working hours. 48 percent of library staff, mainly in rural areas, works for half a day for half a salary, which is about 150-200 soms a month. Libraries have practically no modern computer hardware, while electronic communication is not being developed. Not a single public library has direct access to the CIS or international information databases. Out of 1,010 existing libraries 280 require capital repairs, 31 libraries are in an emergency condition.
243. The network of permanent clubs has been reduced by 32 percent. Today there are about 300 populated areas in the Republic that do not have recreation centers. For example, they number only 36 in Batken oblast, 51 in Osh, 43 in Issyk-Kul, 23 in Chui, 31 in Talas, 59 in Jalal-Abad and 12 in Naryn. 310 clubs in the Republic are in need of capital repairs, most of which were constructed during the 1950-70s, and 45 of them are in an emergency condition.
Under the present conditions, the population of the Republic, in particular rural inhabitants, is trying to practice cultural self-development through national folklore and vernacular arts. At the same time, the number of clubs and amateur talent groups has decreased by 42.7 percent, the total number of their participants having decreased by more than one half (57.8 percent).
244. Republican level cultural establishments are in need of capital repairs, including the National Library, the Kyrgyz National Drama Theater named after Abdumomunov, the Russian Drama Theater, the Republican Arts School, the Central State Archive of Political Documents and some others.
245. Today, the major problems associated with culture are the following:
· a weak regulatory and legal framework so that, as a result, the sector continues to be “unattractive” for investors, sponsors, white knights;
· poor adaptation of cultural establishments to market conditions;
· inadmissibly low salaries of workers in culture and their social vulnerability that has lead to the outflow of personnel;
· reduction in the quality and variety of services provided by cultural establishments- in fact, a number of such establishments are moth balled as there are not sufficient material and financial resources to provide for their proper functioning;
· a slump in attendance because people cannot afford to pay and because of the low quality of cultural services provided;
· preponderance in the network of cultural establishments of outdated objects and technologies of cultural activity, that are poorly adapted to new social and economic conditions;
· lack of funds to carry out capital and current repairs, reflecting in an abrupt decrease in expenses for procurement of supplies and equipment for cultural establishments;
· lack of mechanisms to disseminate new achievements in the area of culture.
246. Political measures taken in the area of culture are aimed at preservation of the existing cultural potential of the country, ensuring constitutional guarantees of access to cultural values, adaptation of culture to market conditions.
247. The most important conditions for the implementation of the outlined approaches are the following:
· an established legal framework, taking into account existing economic realities and ensuring effective operation of establishments of culture and art;
· development of a system of targeted financial support for culture;
· attraction of various organizations to the support of cultural programs;
· support for the introduction of innovative organizational and economic forms of cultural activities as well as methods of management that satisfy market economy requirements.
248. The primary task for government is to promote the development of culture under market conditions. In order to fulfill this task, the following continuous activities will need to be undertaken:
· formation of a sustainable system of cultural education, in particular of the younger generation;
· restoration and broadening of new cultural relations and integration in the world’s culture;
· preservation of original traditional directions of culture;
· development of local cinematography, theatrics, musical and fine arts;
· opening of production workshops in order to create jobs related to cultural activities;
· development of a rational system to train the staff of the culture sector; and
· improvement of the legal framework promoting the development of culture, beneficial interaction of culture establishments with business environment to broaden sponsors’ assistance.
249. The Government has submitted to the Jogorku Kenesh a new edition of the Law On Protection and Support of Cultural Activities in the Kyrgyz Republic; the Law On State Support to Cinematography of the Kyrgyz Republic and other regulations have been adopted; the State Program, Culture – the Source of Intellectual Wealth and Heritage of Generations, is being developed. The adoption of these will allow cultural establishments, cinematography and archives to objectively and purposefully solve actual issues in the development of culture, preservation of historical monuments and protection of cultural values.
250. Given the objectives set up the area of culture, cultural establishments will conduct charitable events providing invalids, pensioners, students, schoolchildren and poor people with a possibility to attend concerts, exhibitions, and performances free of charge. Thus, the issue of providing the population with access to cultural values and art remains to be one of the major priorities in the sphere of culture.