THE Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh body, on Thursday presented an annual budget of Rs 1064 crore for the 2016-17 fiscal year but notably made no mention on installation of CCTV cameras and other measures to check the ‘desecration’ of the Guru Granth Sahib at the gurdwaras.
After a series of desecration episodes last year, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had in fact announced financial help to gurdwara management committees, not under the direct control of SGPC, for installation of CCTV cameras.
Akal Takht Jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh had also told the gurudwara committees to reach out to SGPC for financial assistance to install the surveillance equipment.
The annual budget, however, does not have a provision for the CCTV cameras. Queried on this, Makkar said, “If required, we will provide money for them from the general fund. We will not give financial help to install CCTV cameras to those management committees, which can afford the expenditure on the same. We will help only financially weak committees”. He said that as far as the gurdwaras under the SGPC are concerned, it was responsibility of the concerned gurudwara managers to arrange funds for the cameras from the local budget. Without divulging numbers, he said the demand to install CCTV cameras from local gurudwara committees was “very low.”
SGPC General secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur presented the budget of Rs 1064.14 crore on Thursday, a 7 per cent hike to last year’s amount. While Rs 61.40 crore has been reserved for general board fund, Rs 46.52 crore has been set aside for trust funds. Around Rs 8.30 crore has been set aside for treatment of cancer patients.