SGPC ₹981-cr budget shrinks by 18% comparing last year
AMRITSAR With dip in its earnings amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday unanimously passed ₹981-crore budget for 2020-21, down by 18.5% from last financial year’s ₹1,205 crore. Though the session was by and large peaceful, Sikh bodies continued with the protest outside over the missing saroops of Guru Granth Sahib.
The budget speech was delivered by the SGPC general secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami and it was approved by the general house at Teja Singh Samundri Hall in the presence of Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. The annual budget session that is held in March every year, was delayed this year due to the pandemic.
The gurdwara body earmarked ₹577 crore for the management of gurdwaras, ₹215 crore for educational institutions, ₹58 crore for dharam parchar, ₹57 crore for general fund, ₹37 crore for Trust fund, ₹28 crore for education fund, ₹8 crore for printing presses and ₹88 lakh for directorate of education.
Addressing the house, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said, “Though the budget is lower than last year but it covers all aspects. Money has been allocated for upcoming centenary celebrations, amritdhari children, Sikligar and Wanjara Sikhs, and for youths doing well in sports and academics.”
Arrangements have been made for free education of 200 Sikh girls at Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Damdama Sahib. Under this, 10% reservation will be given to the daughters of Sikh preachers, Gurbani readers and singers, and 5% for those coming from poor families.
For celebrating 400th birth anniversary of ninth Sikh master Guru Teg Bahadar next year, 100th foundation day of the SGPC and 300th birth anniversary of Bhai Taru Singh, a sum of ₹3.45 crore have been allocated.
Some dissenting voices were heard from some members during the session. SGPC members Kiranjot Kaur, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Balwinder Singh Bains were allowed to speak from the dais. Kaur grilled the SGPC office-bearers over the missing saroops. She was interrupted by a member, Amarjit Singh Chawla, but she continued speaking and asked him to keep quiet.
Outside, however, there was commotion as members of Sikh bodies continued with their ongoing stir. The protesters were demanding resignation of SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal over the missing saroops and strict punishment to those indicted by the probe panel of dereliction of duty.