A day after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) granted clearance for receipt of foreign funds by Golden Temple in Amritsar, Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday hailed the development as “pathbreaking” and stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “blessed that Wahe Guru ji has taken Seva from him”.
Until now, the shrine was allowed to only accept domestic donations.
In successive tweets on Thursday, Shah stated, “Sri Darbar Sahib’s divinity gives strength to us. For decades, the Sangat worldwide was unable to serve there. Modi Government’s decision to allow FCRA to the Sri Harmandir Sahib deepens the connect of Seva between the Sangat globally and the Sri Darbar Sahib. A blessed moment! Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is blessed that Wahe Guru ji has taken Seva from him. The decision on FCRA at the Sri Harmandir Sahib is a pathbreaking one which will once again showcase the outstanding spirit of service of our Sikh sisters and brothers.”
The MHA said in a statement: “The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday…granted registration to the Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sri Darbar Sahib, Punjab. This association had applied for registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 on 27.05.2020. The registration shall remain valid for 5 years from the date of issue.”
Organisations seeking foreign funds have to get themselves registered under the FCRA, according to government rules.
The gurudwara is managed by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC).
Before granting registration, the MHA stated, its application was examined in accordance with the provisions laid down in FCRA, 2010, and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRR), 2011.
The association named Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sri Darbar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, was created in 1925 under the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, with objectives to offer free langar round the clock, financial help to the poor and the needy, students, financial assistance for medical treatment to needy persons and offering services during natural disasters.
“The association was receiving domestic donations to fulfil these objectives. Now, with permission from MHA, the association is enabled to receive foreign contribution and utilise these contributions for the stated objectives in compliance with provisions of FCRA, 2010,” according to the ministry’s statement.
SGPC welcomes Centre’s decision
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has welcomed Centre’s move to allow Golden Temple to receive foreign donations. Longowal thanked PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for the decision.
“It was a long pending demand and now sangat in foreign countries will be able to make donations for the Golden Temple,” said the SGPC president.
Meanwhile, the SGPC president has also asked Union government to open Kartarpur Corridor. “Religious places are already open in India. It is good time to reopen Kartarpur Sahib corridor so that Sikhs can visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib,” said Longowal.
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