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Discretionary funds for SGPC members hiked by Rs2 lakh 

Amritsar, March 30

The SGPC on Friday passed Rs 1,159.67-crore budget for 2018-19, with an aim to promote Sikhism and education, besides helping the deprived section of the community.SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal increased the discretionary fund of members from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh each.The budget was presented by SGPC general secretary Gurbachan Singh Karmuwal and was unanimously accepted by 110 of the 175 members.The Sikh premier body has kept aside Rs 688 crore for gurdwaras to preach the religion and conduct gurmat programmes. The Dharam Parchar committee has been given Rs 56 crore separately.The SGPC runs 53 schools and 37 colleges for which Rs 36.50 crore has been reserved. For education and infrastructure, Rs 228 crore has been allocated. Sikh education made compulsory in its primary-level schools. Around Rs 78 lakh have been kept for organising gurmat and Khalsai games for them.Other provisions are:Rs 1 lakh each for Sikh students, who excel in sports, agriculture, science etc; Rs 1.5 crore for deserving postgraduate and PhD students of religious studies; Rs 1 lakh for Sikhs who qualify for IAS/IPS and Rs 75 lakh for PCS; Rs 51,000 each for students who grab first 20 positions in board exams; and Rs 1.89 crore for underprivileged students.On GST, Longowal said: “We have paid around Rs 4 crore GSTso far.”Resolutions passed The SGPC passed resolutions to seek help from the Union Government for getting back rare manuscripts and documents that were taken by the Army during Operation Bluestar, punishing those responsible for 1984 anti-Sikh riots, promoting Punjabi language, opening Gurdwara Kartarpur corridor, abolition of the GST on all gurdwara purchases, SGPC representation in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), implementation of Anand Marriage Act, 2016, decongestion of passages leading to the Golden Temple and the release of Sikh political prisoners. 

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