The controversial 11-year-old agreement between the SGPC and a private television channel for the live telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple, which is coming to an end in September this year, has come in for serious criticism. Allegations of favour & fraud by SGPC too have been made by Sikh scholars, religious leaders and others.
A detailed investigation by Day & Night News shows that the SGPC has not fully recovered the large sums of money due to it from the private television channel on all the three counts settled in the 11-year-old agreement.
The SGPC had been promised a one-time fee of Rs 2 Cr 1 Lakh at the time of signing of the agreement. The SGPC was to also receive Rs 50 Lakh annually from the television channel. Additionally, the SGPC had to be paid 10 per cent of the revenue earned from carrying advertisements before and after the live telecast of Gurbani.
The money collected was mandated to be used for educational purposes besides religious propagation. However, the Day & Night News Investigation revealed that the SGPC did not draw up any plan for the educational and religious objectives mentioned in the agreement for live telecast of Gurbani.
Even the annual budgets of SGPC do not reflect the amounts which were to be accrued from the sale of telecast rights to the private television channel.
GPC President Avtar Singh Makkar has, in fact, corroborated this in an exclusive interview to Day & Night News .
The SGPC top brass doesn’t yet have a policy on how the telecast rights for live transmission of Gurbani would be handed out in future, and whether SGPC will produce it itself and then allow its non-exclusive use to various broadcasters for a fee.
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