Lahore The Punjab Government has decided to increase the monthly financial assistance from Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 under Artist Khidmat Card Scheme what Lahore Art Council Atta Muhammad Khan calls an attempt to “make their (artists’) lives easier”. According to a press release issued from LAC Tuesday, a meeting approved the increase while the date for the disbursement of funds would be announced soon. Four months on from March 1, 2017 when the former Punjab government announced Rs 20,000 each for artists in need of help, under the scheme, the monthly financial assistance was cut to Rs5,000 per person. The yesterday’s meeting also decided to review the 1,070- deserving artist list. Last year, the cash amount per person was reported to have been decreased because the number of help seekers surged. The distribution of just Rs 5,000 per month rubbed salt into wounds of deserving artist. An senior official, Waqar Jappa, told The Nation that the yesterdays meeting approved Rs500,000 for PTV senior artist Sajjad Kishwar, aged 85, and Rs 200,000 for another senior artist Abdul Ghani who is fighting cancer. He added that the Khidmat cards are being redesigned following the directives of the top court barring any personal promotional stuff from such a card. Asghar Nadeem Syed will head a sub-committee comprising Shah Nawaz Zaidi, Nasir Adeeb and Shahid Mehmood on the matter. “Every developed and civilized nation considers their artists as the jewel of the crown and our aim is to do everything to recognize their efforts and make their lives easier. We will continue this campaign and take firm steps to make sure that the artist community lives with dignity and respect,” the LAC executive director said.