Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirupati – one of the world’s richest temples, may move all of its 7.5 tonnes of stashed gold under the government’s gold monetisation scheme (GMS).
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, which recently said it moved over 1.3 tonnes of gold to Punjab National Bank under the scheme, also requested the government to tweak some rules to enable it move its entire holding of the yellow metal under the scheme.
“We have roughly about 7.5 tonnes of gold and most of it is in the banks. Gold with TTD is kept in various banks under different schemes. Then entire gold may be shifted to the gold monetisation scheme as and when it matures,” TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, the gold monetisation scheme has three main components – short term, medium term and long term.
Under the short-term scheme, the interest is also converted as gold and paid to the investor.
In the medium and long terms, the principal can be paid in gold or cash while the interest 2.5 per cent will be paid in cash only.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam official said they made a request to the government to pay the interest part in gold form.
“Medium term and long term (investments under the GMS) we have requested the government to make some changes in the scheme. They made some changes but we have asked them to make some more changes. For the medium and long term they give an interest of 2.5 per cent,” Mr Rao said.
“But they say the principal will be returned in cash, not in gold. We requested them to return the principal in gold. We do not want to have cash. They have agreed for that. But the interest will be calculated on the gold at the time of deposit not at the time of return. We have asked them to change that condition also,” he added. (Read: Tirupati temple wants gold, not cash, under monetisation scheme)
According to him, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam receives about 800 kilograms to one tonne of gold in the form of donations and offerings from devotees every year.
Replying to a query, he said the TTD board will come forward to construct Sri Venkateswara Swamy temples in all state capitals provided the state governments concerned come with up proposals and land plots.