Facing big fiscal deficit, SGPC asks Punjab govt to furnish education dues : The Tribune India

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Facing big fiscal deficit, SGPC asks Punjab govt to furnish education dues

Facing big fiscal deficit, SGPC asks Punjab govt to furnish education dues

Facing heavy losses, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has blamed the state government for not releasing the long-pending education grant for eligible students studying in its institutes. - File photo



Tribune News Service

GS PAUL

Amritsar, April 3

Facing heavy losses, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has blamed the state government for not releasing the long-pending education grant for eligible students studying in its institutes.

Rs 50 crore grant pending

  • The state government is yet to pay nearly Rs 50 crore grant to the education institutes being run by the SGPC.
  • For the fiscal year 2024-2025, the committee has kept Rs 251 crore as its total education budget whereas the anticipated income from its institutions has been calculated to be close to Rs 227.23 crore.
  • “We expect that around Rs 24 crore would have to be taken out extra from ‘Guru’s Golak’ (donation boxes) to meet the shortfall,”said SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami.

The grant, under the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, for students belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes is awaited.

According to officials, over Rs 50 crore grant was yet to be paid by the government to the education institutes being run by the committee.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said the body had been bearing extra financial burden which, otherwise, was the liability of the state government. For the fiscal year 2024-2025, the SGPC has kept Rs 251 crore as its total education budget whereas the anticipated income from its institutions has been calculated to be close to Rs 227.23 crore.

“We expect that around Rs 24 crore would have to be taken out extra from ‘Guru’s Golak’ (donation boxes) to meet the shortfall,” he said.

Ironically, for the want of official recognition of aided posts, the government shied away from shouldering the responsibility of paying the teachers’ their salaries. Consequently, the SGPC has been paying them.

“We have kept Rs 41 crore in the education fund to meet the salary bills of teachers and other expenses of schools with aided posts. We urge the government to at least clear the pending grants of students’ scholarships and salaries of aided school teachers,” the president added.

For the fiscal 2023-2024, the SGPC’s education expenses have exceeded in comparison to the revenue estimates.

The deficit was reported to be around Rs 28 crore.

“We have already spent around Rs 25 crore for the 2023-2024 session and Rs 3 crore more is estimated to be spent by the end of 2024”, he said.

Earlier, during 2022-2023, the deficit was reported to be around Rs 36 crore.

At present, the SGPC runs around 75 primary and secondary education institutes, besides 40 higher education institutes in various streams in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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