TTD plans to invest gold in PM's scheme

TTD plans to invest gold in PM's scheme

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is toying with the idea of investing its gold reserves in the Prime Minister’s gold monetisation scheme if it yielded a higher rate of interest.

TTD executive officer D Sambashiv Rao indicated this after the board’s meeting on Monday.

The board, however, decided to entrust the final call on investment of TTD gold in the PM’s monetization of gold scheme to the investment committee headed by former State Bank of India and Reserve Bank of India managers.

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) troubleshooters Amit Shah and M Venkaiah Naidu are in touch with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to induce him to let TTD invest at least half of its gold reserves (Rs 70,000 crores all in the form of gold biscuits, bricks, statuettes, coins and ornaments lying idle in its  treasury).

The scheme offered 2.5 per cent interest as against the 1.5 per cent earned by TTD in its gold deposit scheme with 3 nationalised banks where it has invested 5500 tons of gold so far. As of now, TTD gets 80 kg of gold in terms of interest per annum by SBI, Corporation Bank and Indian Bank in which its gold is deposited.

A rough estimate shows that the additional benefit for TTD through the scheme is likely to be over 153 kg of pure gold per annum.

The issue was raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the state on October 22 for the foundation stone of Amaravati and also a quick visit to Tirumala for darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

Naidu had then offered to discuss the with his cabinet colleagues. It is also learnt that a sub-committee with three senior IAS officials, including the finance secretary, and headed by Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu to consider the offer under the scheme as it would help the cash strapped  state. The major hitch is demand for a higher interest rate and also option of converting the TTD’s gold reserves into gold bricks.

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