Missing ‘saroops’ controversy

Amid protests, SGPC to present its budget today

Amid protests, SGPC to present its budget today

Sikh groups protest at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 27

Amid the Covid-19 threat, the SGPC is all set to present its annual budget for 2020-21 at Teja Singh Samundri Hall tomorrow.

The budget session, which was supposed to be held on March 28, was suspended due to restrictions in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The SGPC mainly gets its income through donations that it receives from shrines. With a drastic footfall of devotees, the SGPC’s income has also reduced by around 30 per cent and it is likely to have an impact on the proposed budget too. The last year’s budget was Rs 1,205 crore.

Iincome down by 30% during pandemic

The SGPC mainly gets its income through donations that it receives from shrines. With a drastic footfall of devotees during the Covid pandemic, the SGPC’s income has also reduced by around 30 per cent and it is likely to have an impact on the proposed budget too. The last year’s budget was Rs1,205 crore.

The SGPC has to commemorate two major occasions: The centenary of the apex body that falls on November 21, 2020, and the 400th centenary of Guru Teg Bahadur on April 18, 2021.

It is estimated that total 215 establishments are running under the SGPC, including 120 schools and colleges. The salary bills of the employees, the maintenance of the buildings and expenses of administrative affairs stood still as compulsory. On the other hand, the revenue generated from around 79 gurdwaras was decreased since April.

The total collection of donations from all gurdwaras, including the Golden Temple, Takht Kesgarh Sahib and Damdama Sahib, was around Rs 690 crore during 2019-20. The annual expenditure of the Golden Temple community kitchen was Rs 44 crore during the last financial year.

On the other hand, activists of radical Sikh organisations have announced intercepting the SGPC members prior to the budget session. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the purpose was to awaken their conscience so that they could also question the management about the misappropriation of Guru Granth Sahib ‘saroops’.

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