TTD junks gold monetisation scheme

TTD junks gold monetisation scheme

TTD junks gold monetisation scheme

Dumping the Centre’s gold monetisation scheme, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the richest religious shrine in the country, has decided to continue depositing the yellow metal with various nationalised banks.

“The TTD board has voted for the gold deposit scheme rather than the gold monetisation scheme,” said a member of the expert committee, adding that another 2,000 to 2,500 kg of gold was ready to be deposited with nationalised banks.

More than five nationalised banks are bidding for the deposits this year. As of now, it has deposited 5,500 kg  gold in three nationalised banks in gold redeemable schemes rather than monetisation.

“In the present scheme, we get interest also paid in form of gold rather than cash,” said a TTD official.

Sources said the TTD has already called for quotations from the banks inviting competitive interest rates for its proposed deposits. It is already getting 1.5 % interest and is looking for a bidder with higher quotes, said a spokesman of the TTD board.

“It also means that the TTD is not in favour of the Modi govt’s scheme for gold monetisation,” he said.

The TTD already has 4.5 tonnes of gold in the form of deposits with several banks. The present decision to move two and a half tonnes of gold under the short term deposits also includes one tonne of matured gold received by way of redemption from the Corporation Bank. The processing of the gold deposits has already commenced and fresh bids will be called  and the everything would be completed by March end, he said.

On the other hand, the TTD is yet to take any decision on processing the over 27,000 kg of silver and huge stock of foreign coins and currency lying idle in its coffers. According to a spokesman, the TTD received about 100 kg of gold and 200 to 300 kg of silver every month in the form of offerings made by the devotees. It also collected about 5 tonnes of human hair and roughly about Rs 80 crore in cash and targeted to raise Rs 1,000 crore in the hundis of Lord Venkateswara Temple.