Amritsar Sahib— The Panthik Morcha which is supporting a set of candidates in the upcoming SGPC elections has alleged that the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) is facing a deficit of Rs. 23 crore (C) annually. These allegations, if proven to be true, will leave the current SGPC supreme leaders including Avtar Makkar (President), Parkash Badal (SAD President) and his son Sukhbir with a lot to prove. These allegations were leveled in a joint press conference by Ravi Inder Singh, Mohkam Singh and Raghbir Singh Rajasansi.
The trio alleged that half of the Gurdwaras being run under control of SGPC were suffering an annual loss. At the press conference, Panthik Morcha leaders cited figures from the SGPC budget and held that according to the budget although there is an increase of Rs. 4 crores in donations made to Harmandir Sahib, the expenditures incurred are always more than the income. According to the budget statement, for last year the income collected was Rs. 122 cores whiles the expenditure was much above at Rs. 145 crores.
In addition to the Gurdwaras, the Panthik Morcha leaders also alleged that a majority of schools and colleges run by the SGPC were also facing losses. They pointed fingers at the SGPC and its child organizations, especially the Dharam Parchar Committee (DPC), for misusing donations collected from the sangat. They blamed SGPC officials for withdrawing large funds from SGPC accounts and then tempering with the receipts and, many times, totally erasing proof of money laundering. Just two decades ago, the SGPC and DPC had fixed deposit accounts totaling in hundreds of crores, but now these fixed deposit reports are nowhere to be found.
Capt. Amarinder Singh asks SGPC to explain the deficit
Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, who has continued to lock horns with Parkash Badal, alleged that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee must explain the deficit in its budget. He alleged that it was hard to digest the fact because the Harmandir Sahib has continued to see an increase in devotees visiting the shrine and making donations every year.
Capt. Amarinder Singh held that the recent budget debacle requires the SGPC and SAD (B) leadership to provide answers to the Sikh Sangat regarding the losses being incurred by the Harmandir Sahib every year. Furthermore, Capt. alleged that news of the misuse of Gurdwara funds by SAD (B) is not new, but the recent revelations have proved that the current SGPC and SAD (B) leaders are all “golak-chors” (thieves). Capt. Amarinder Singh asked these leaders to also provide clear cut answers about which funds were actually being used for the propagation of Sikh principles.
Budget Announcement for 2011-12 was made earlier this year
The SGPC announces its annual budget every year before Vaisakhi. Earlier this year, the announcement of the SGPC budget was made by the organization’s General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur who said that Rs. 84C will be used for SGPC educational institutions throughout India, Rs. 44C will be used for General Board funds, Rs. 40C towards religious activities, Rs. 19C towards trust funds, and Rs. 17C for educational funds. The majority of the budget (Rs. 368C) will be used towards management of SGPC run Gurdwaras in Punjab and Haryana.