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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) will contribute approximately 500kg of gold to the Reserve Bank of India’s gold monetization program. The board has just completed a massive exercise cataloging the holdings that are in various temples and vaults.
An approximate annual return of Rs 5 crore is expected from the deposit. The board will proceed with the plan after receiving approval from the High Court. “The inventory has been completed and a new check is now being carried out. The preliminary assessment indicated that approximately 500 kg of gold can be saved for the monetization scheme. It does not contain any ornaments or items of ritual significance, ”TDB President N Vasu told TNIE.
The gold identified for the scheme consists mainly of valuables donated by believers in the form of coins, ornaments, and figurines. The pandemic caused great stress on the board as its revenues – mainly the collection from the approximately 1,200 temples under its leadership – plummeted. The board now relies on government grants to cover salary, pension and facility costs, which range from 40 to 45 lakh per month.
According to Vasu, the revenue from monetization will be a great relief, but completely insufficient to cover the revenue shortfalls suffered from Covid. As a result, the board has taken several steps, such as increasing income outside the temple and streamlining spending. The inventory helped the board of directors to obtain accurate data on the gold and silver collections, precious stones and other valuables.
Board to auction unused lamps and goods in temples
According to the board, the monetization scheme is more attractive to them from a security perspective than from a financial point of view. The RBI will give an annual return of 2.5% interest rate. According to the president, monetization was planned a lot before Covid, as it gives the stock more security.
The board has also taken steps to auction unused lamps and goods in temples. It begins after the approval of the High Court has been obtained. The temples hold a huge supply of lamps and goods donated by believers.
The Travancore Devaswom Board has over 1,200 temples under its crease
The board is now dependent on government grants to cover salary, pension and start-up costs
The cost is Rs 40-Rs 45 lakh per month