The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the world’s richest Hindu temple of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, may move all of its 7.5 tonnes stashed gold under Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
The TTD which recently said it moved over 1.3 tonnes of yellow metal to Punjab National Bank under the scheme also requested the government to tweak some rules to enable it move its entire holding of gold 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.
The GMS 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 the gold or cash form while the interest 2.5 per cent will be paid in cash form only. The TTD official said they made a request to the government to pay the interest part in gold form.
Rao said, “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.
“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.
According to him, TTD receives about 800 kg 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 Lord Venkateswara Swamy temples in all state capitals provided the state governments concerned come with up proposals and land plots.
Meanwhile, Sri Venkateswara Bhakti channel, run by the TTD will air special programmes on “Annamyya Keertanas” every week from next month.