- Special amount set aside to celebrate 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib: Bibi Jagir Kaur
- Budget priorities including flourishing Sikhism, promotion of education and public welfare
- Efforts made to remove misconceptions among regarding SGPC budget: Bibi Jagir Kaur
Amritsar, March 30:
During the budget session held in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji at the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) headquarters, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, Sri Amritsar, the SGPC passed the budget for the year 2021-22 of about Rs 912.59 crore.
The budget meeting has been attended by 86 members including Giani Jagtar Singh head granthi of Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Raghbir Singh Jathedar Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur.
The budget was presented by SGPC general secretary Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, which was approved by the members present amid resonance of the jaikaras (Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal). Bhai Sialka elaborated on the amount reserved for various departments and institutions during his budget speech and shared the details of expenditure incurred along with the sources of income.
As per the approved budget, the total revenue for the year 2021-22 would be about Rs 871.93 crore as compared to the estimated expenditure. According to the budget passed, the expenditure is expected to be about Rs 40.66 crore more than the revenue.
Releasing the details of the budget, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said that this time an attempt has been made to remove the big misconception among the sangat about the budget of the SGPC.
“Out of the amount offered by the sangat at Gurdwaras, about 30% funds are received by the SGPC for various departments. But in the past, making this amount a part of income has again made a big difference in the budget. Because when the budget of the SGPC and the Dharam Prachar Committee was presented along with the budget of the Gurdwaras, it was again included in the revenue. This time the budget has been presented while amending this. However this year the budget is less than the previous budget, but it was necessary to make this amendment” said Bibi Jagir Kaur.
She said that the budgets of various departments of the SGPC were based on the devotion of the sangat and only an estimated budget was presented in this regard.
She said that just like last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a sharp decline in income.
Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “The expenditure was more than the income for which the SGPC would motivate the sangat and spend from its own savings.”
SGPC president said that the historical Gurdwaras which are maintained under Section 85 are expected to generate revenue of about Rs 647.25 crore during the year 2021-22 while the estimated expenditure is about Rs 652.37 crore. Similarly, the revenue from educational institutions this year would be around Rs 189.17 crore and the expenditure would be around Rs 223.18 crore.
Bibi Jagir Kaur said that at present about Rs 16.55 crore has been earmarked by the SGPC to cover the budget deficit of educational institutions.
Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “We are constantly trying to bring the budget of the SGPC on track. During the last four months, great efforts have been made to reduce the expenditure of the SGPC. At the same time the sangat is being encouraged to do different works.”
SGPC president said that more than Rs 9 crore donations has been deposited to Sri Darbar Sahib, by a love of Gurughar from Delhi. Similarly, sangat are also providing services for setting up solar plant systems for electricity and steam cooking systems for langar and the sangat are also being encouraged for various other services.
Bibi Jagir Kaur also informed that sangat offering donation at Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib would be exempted from tax. She said that efforts were being made by the SGPC in this regard but in the meanwhile information has been received under RTI that 80G tax exemptions for Darbar Sahib had already been received in 1965. Under this, sangat can now get tax exemption.
Bibi Jagir said that about Rs 14 crore has been earmarked in this year's budget to celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib.
Apart from this Rs 86 lakh would be spent for natural calamities, Rs 27.31 crore for Gurmat Vidyalayas including religious leaflets and religious examination correspondence courses including printing of free Gurmat literature.
She said that an amount of up to Rs 2 crore has been earmarked for the recently established Girls Sports Academy.
Bibi Jagir Kaur said Rs 9.50 crore has been marked for Sikligar and Vanjara Sikhs as well as for Gurdwaras, religious, panthic and social organizations in Punjab and outside Punjab; Rs 2 crore for scholarships to Amritdhari (initiated) students, and Rs 3 crore for connecting children with Gurmat through competitive competitions.
SGPC president said that a special portion has been allocated in the budget for the promotion of education and that the funds have also been set aside for the Sikh Reference Library and for the publication of new books.
She said that Rs 1 crore has been marked for Dharmi Faujis and Rs 1.80 crore for Dharam Arth Fund and similarly, special funds have also been provided for various other activities.
Present house deserves congratulations for bringing clarity in budget - Giani Harpreet Singh
During the budget session, Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh, in his address, while congratulating on the unanimous passage of the budget, thanked Bibi Jagir Kaur and the entire house for bringing clarity in the budget this year.
Giani Harpreet Singh said, “SGPC is an institution of all Sikhs but it was unfortunate that conspiracies to break it had been going on from the very beginning. It was important to respond to these forces. The entire Sikh community should make a concerted effort to uphold the dignity and safety of Sikh institutions.”
Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib asked the SGPC members to spread awareness as much as possible in the villages about the occasion of the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib.
Various members addressed during budget session
During today's budget session of the SGPC, various members openly expressed their views. Bibi Jagir Kaur gave a chance to each member to speak, to the satisfaction of all. SGPC chief secretary Advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami while inaugurating the budget session, called upon SGPC president to initiate proceedings, to which some members sought time to speak. Meanwhile, the SGPC President said that after passing the budget, all the members who want to speak would be given time. After the passage of the budget, the SGPC chief secretary invited various members to speak, following SGPC general secretary Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, S. Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, S. Balwinder Singh Bains, Baba Gurpreet Singh Randhawa, S. Mithu Singh Kahnke, Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, Baba Charanjit Singh Jassowal, Baba Gurmeet Singh Trilokewala expressed their views on various Sikh issues and praised the budget. Welcoming the suggestions made by these speakers, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur thanked everyone for their cooperation.
Ardas was offered by Bhai Sultan Singh during the budget session and Hukamnama was recited by head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh.