Holy city ruined a big chance: SGPC member

HariThe holy city lost a very good chance of developing the hotel and tourism industry in the border region, thanks to the withdrawal of the dossier which was submitted to UNESCO for granting world heritage status (WHS) to the Golden Temple.

These views were expressed by Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, member, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), here in view of the Union government’s decision to exempt the hotel and tourism industry from income tax in the cities which are listed in the world heritage sites by UNESCO.

Union finance minister P. Chidambram, in the recent Budget, announced this provision for world heritage sites for development of the tourism industry.

Welcoming the move, the SGPC member rued that the city had been deprived of its rightful place.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone, she said, “Had the SGPC not withdrawn the dossier submitted to UNESCO to bring Darbar Sahib in the world heritage site list, these facilities granted by the government would have resulted in the automatic development of the hotel and tourism industry in the city.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the SGPC had rejected the dossier on the Golden Temple after the “division” in the Sikh community the world-over due to the alleged “glaring mistakes” and distortions regarding the Sikh history.

The dossier was prepared by Bibi Kiranjot Kaur and former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar was instrumental in sending it to UNESCO. The Shiromani committee executive, which was looking into the objections raised by the various Sikh intellectuals, had termed the dossier as anti-Sikh and later decided to withdraw it.

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