The cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi had received donation of Rs 1.90 crore in old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 after the government’s demonetisation decision of November 8 even as the shrine board has set up POS machines to facilitate pilgrims to make cashless payments.
“During 30 days since demonetisation a total of Rs 1.90 crore of the old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 have been found in the donation boxes and these have been duly deposited in the bank”, A K Sahu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) said.
“The old currency notes are still being found in the donation boxes installed at various locations but their number has reduced considerably”, Sahu said.
Sahu said “an advisory was issued by the Board, in the shape of a pamphlet, and displayed at different locations along the track as well as at Niharika, Adhkuwari, Bhawan and at each of the accommodation and other units, which advises the pilgrims not to put old currency notes in the donation boxes”.
He said the shrine Board set up POS machines and issued advisories to facilitate pilgrims to make payments through debit and credit cards.
The CEO said that in the wake of Government’s decision to replace the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations, the Board has taken several measures to assist the pilgrims.
He said that to enable the pilgrims to make cashless payments, Point of Sale (POS) Machines were installed at all the Booking Counters, Bhojanalayas all along the track, and at the Shrine Board’s various accommodation units in Jammu and Katra.
He added that all the Supervisory Officers were instructed not to accept the old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations at any of the Bhojanalayas, Booking Counters, Sales and Donation Counters and at the Board’s various accommodation units.
“Full record is being maintained of the currency notes being received on daily basis; as a measure of abundant caution, the old notes are being deposited in the Board’s Bank account only after scrutiny and prior approval of the Board’s Chief Accounts Officer”, he added.