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SGPC passes Rs 912-cr budget; education fund cut

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) unanimously passed its annual budget of Rs 912.59 crore for 2021-22 fiscal during its general assembly meeting held at Teja Singh Samundri Hall here on Tuesday.

The decline in the income due to the Covid pandemic showed its impact on the budget for the second consecutive year as it was squeezed by around seven per cent this year. In 2020-21, the budget amounted Rs 981 crore while in 2019-2020, it was pegged at Rs 1,205 crore.Bhagwant Singh Sialka, general secretary, tabled Rs 40.66 crore-deficit budget in the presence of SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. He said the SGPC would have an annual income of Rs 871.93 crore against an expenditure of Rs 912.59 crore.

The budget was bifurcated into four parts: General board fund, trust fund, education fund and printing press fund.

For 2021-22, the general board fund was increased from Rs 57 crore to Rs 60.60 crore, an increase by around six per cent while the trust fund was raised from Rs 37.61 crore to Rs 45 crore, which was an increase of 19 per cent. The education fund witnessed a decrease of around 12 per cent. It has come down from Rs 37.70 crore to Rs 33 crore this year.

However, there was minimal increase on the proposed expenditure in the current budget for printing presses where ‘saroops’ and Sikh literature are printed and published. The budget allocated Rs 8.40 crore for four printing presses which included golden offset press, gurdwara printing press, shiromani printing press and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Mission, Shahpur (Ambala).

Despite the constraints in view of a decline in revenue, the SGPC augmented funds for ‘dharam prachar’ and education among Gursikh people by allocating Rs 77 crore for the current fiscal year which was 24 per cent higher than the previous fiscal. It was Rs 58 crore last year.

Similarly, there has been a slight increase of over three per cent in funds for educational institutions, pegged at Rs 223 crore this fiscal against Rs 215 crore last year.

SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said of the total budget, Rs 440 crore would be spent on shrines, educational institutions and salaries of SGPC staff, which was 43.42 per cent of the total budget.

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