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Punjab

SGPC passes budget of Rs 1138.14 crore for 2023-24, amid resonance of Sikh slogan of high spirit

AMRIK SINGH | March 28, 2023 08:51 PM

AMRITSAR: The annual budget of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for the financial year 2023-24 has been passed during the general meeting held at Teja Singh Samari Hall in Amritsar today. In the general meeting held in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGPC General Secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal presented a budget of Rs 1138.14 crore, which was passed by the SGPC members amid resonance of Sikh slogan of high spirit – Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal.

Head granthi of Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib Giani Jagtar Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, SGPC office-bearers and members were present during the budget meeting.

SGPC General Secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal in his budget speech shared the details of the income for various departments and institutions and the budget earmarked for several future plans. He also shared the detailed information of the work done by SGPC in the past for the Panth (community) and public welfare. It was for the first time that details of the budget were broadcast simultaneously on a big screen installed during the budget session of the SGPC.

Sharing information to the media after the budget meeting, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami said that the budget of SGPC has recorded a 17% increase as compared to last year. He said that the budget of the last financial year (2022-23) was around Rs 988 crore, while this year (2023-24) it is estimated to be about Rs 1138.14 crore. He said that the passed budget includes SGPC, Dharam Prachar Committee, historical Gurdwara Sahibs under Section 85, educational institutions, printing presses, etc. Out of the total budget, the budget of Gurdwara Sahibs is Rs 855 crore.

Harjinder Singh Dhami said that the basis of the entire budget of the SGPC is offerings made by the Sangat in Gurdwara Sahibs, and the annual expenses are determined accordingly. He said that in this budget, under the future plans, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for Nishchai Civil Services Coaching Academy, Rs 7.09 crore for establishing Sikh Prachar Centre abroad, Rs 4.72 crore for installing solar plants at Gurdwara Sahibs in view of environment preservation, Rs 24 crore for building new sarais (inns) associated with Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar, Rs 60 lakh for community welfare labs and medical stores, Rs 1.80 crore for Panthic matters and litigations, Rs 3.69 crore for Dharam Arth Fund and Panthic Welfare Fund, Rs 1.11 crore for natural calamities, Rs 1.70 crore for education of Sikh students.

Similarly, Rs 3.70 will be spent for Sikh preaching in states outside Punjab, Rs 2 crore for upcoming centenaries, Rs 2.50 crore for Gurmat Samagams (religious congregations), Rs 3.05 crore for sports academies.

SGPC President said that a special amount has been arranged for the release of Bandi Singhs (Sikh prisoners) and for pursuing their cases, as well as to support the families of Bandi Singhs. The budget has also been kept for poor students, scholarships to Amritsar (initiated) students, Sikligar and Vanajara Sikhs.

He said that the priority future plans of the SGPC include pursuing Sikh issues, religious preaching, public welfare work, health facilities and education. He specifically mentioned the academy opened to prepare Sikh youths for competitive exams of civil and administrative services.

Harjinder Singh Dhami said that 25 candidates will be given free coaching every year in SGPC coaching academy, for which, an amount of Rs 1 crore has been earmarked in the budget for the first year. He said that the SGPC is also encouraging the Sangat to support this priority initiative, which is getting a good response. He said that special attention has also been given to uplift SGPC’s educational institutions and soon they will be brought to a self-reliant state. He strongly criticized the government’s non-payment of SC scholarships for Sikh body’s educational institutions and non-filling of aided posts.

He said that one of the major reasons for educational institutions going into losses is the non-release of due funds by the government. He said that still SGPC is competing with the Punjab government by providing educational services. He said that the SGPC is continuously fulfilling its responsibility to maintain the Gurdwara Sahibs, Sikh preaching and pursuing Sikh issues and is committed in the future as well.

Harjinder Singh Dhami said that a budget of Rs 57.11 crore has been kept for Gurdwara Sahibs in Haryana. He said although the management of Haryana Gurdwaras was forcibly taken over from the SGPC at the behest of Haryana government, still the SGPC has kept a budget. He said that Haryana Gurdwara Sahibs are still notified under the spirit of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 and the government should return its management to the representative SGPC.

Several speakers expressed their views in budget meeting

During the annual budget meeting of the SGPC, several speakers presented their suggestions on Panthic matters. After the inauguration of budget meeting by SGPC secretary Partap Singh, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami recited Moolmantra to officer homage and reverence to the departed personalities.

After the budget speech by SGPC General Secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami read the resolutions regarding various Panthic issues.

Meanwhile, SGPC members Jaswant Singh Pudain, Mithu Singh Kahneke, Baba Gurpreet Singh, Balwinder Singh Bains, Bibi Gurpreet Kaur, Amrik Singh Shahpur also addressed and presented their views. The SGPC President gave logical answers on the spot to the matters raised by various speakers. The resolutions brought by the SGPC President on Sikh issues were seconded by various speakers, and present members also ensured support at all levels in their implementation.

A large number of SGPC members, key officials were present in today’s budget meeting.

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