World's richest Hindu temple wants gold back rather than cash
By Nidhi Verma and Rajendra Jadhav
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The world's richest Hindu temple is asking to be repaid in gold for longer-term deposits it makes under the Indian government's monetization scheme in order to make the plan more attractive to the temples that are sitting on thousands of tonnes of the metal.
The Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, popularly known as the Tirupati, has requested repayment in metal rather than cash for their deposits of longer than three years under the Gold Monetisation Scheme, D. Sambasiva Rao, the executive director of the temple operator Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), told Reuters today.
TTD's participation in the gold scheme is crucial to its success since the temple in the Southern Andhra Pradesh state holds 7 tonnes of the metal, equivalent to about $277 million at current prices. However, Tirupati and other temples around India are reluctant to part with the gold forever because of its religious and emotional significance.
"We wrote to the government to change certain conditions in the scheme and offer principal and interest in the form of gold for medium-term and long-term deposits," Rao said, referring to deposits for between five and 15 years. "The changes will make the scheme attractive for all the temples in the country," he said. ...
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