Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the richest temple in the country, will deposit 7.5 tonnes of gold under the central government’s Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS). The temple which had recently deposited 1.3 tonnes of yellow metal in Punjab National Bank under the same scheme, said it is ready to transfer all of its gold to the GMS scheme.
“We have roughly about 7.5 tonnes of gold and most of it is in the banks. Gold monetization scheme was there for the TTD earlier. It is kept in various banks under different schemes. The entire gold will be kept in the Gold Monetisation Scheme as and when the current schemes mature,” TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao said here on Saturday.
However, the TTD, which manages the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh), wants a tweak in the terms and conditions of the GMS scheme for it to transfer all its stashed gold. GMS has three deposit plans-shot term, mid term and long term. Presently the repayment of the principal and interest is made in cash or in gold in the short term plan, and repayment of principal is made in gold and interest paid in cash under the mid and long term schemes. TTD wants both the deposit and the interest to be paid in gold under the long-term monetization plan for it to deposit the gold.
Rao said that the government has agreed to consider its request to pay the interest in gold, the trust will be depositing 800 kilogrammes to 1 tonne of gold every year under the GMS scheme.
“We requested them to return the principle in gold. They agreed. Similarly, the banks calculate the rate of interest as per the value of the gold at the time of deposit not at the time of return. So we have asked them to change that also. They have agreed to it so mostly we will go for the gold monetization scheme,” Rao said.
The GMS scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in last November. The short-term monetization plan covers deposits made for one to three years, the medium term for five to seven years and long term plan applies to deposits kept for twelve to fifteen years.