Bhubaneswar, Dec 20 (LocalWire): Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) is contemplating to invest the gold offered to the Lord by devotees in the Centre’s gold monetization scheme in an attempt to augment the 12th century shrine’s revenue.
Gold is donated generously in the temple’s offertory box (Hundi).
The donated gold after inventory on daily basis is kept in the safe custody of a nationalized bank, said Kishan Kumar, chief administrator of the SJTA.
‘Since the temple gets no return from the donated gold kept in the bank, we are planning to invest it in gold bonds scheme.
The temple will be financially richer as the scheme provides interest payment of cash against the invested gold,’ he said.
The matter was discussed at the temple management committee meeting held today.
‘A financial committee is being constituted in this regard to weigh the pros and cons of the proposed plan,’ he added.
The treasure chest (Ratna Bhandar) of the famous Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri has over 149 kg gold ornaments and 258 kg silver utensils, according to a list prepared by the temple administration 40 years ago.
An estimated Rs one crore cash is collected through inventory or the Hundi, which is one of the major sources of income of the temple.
The devotees also donate three kilogram gold on an average every month. To maintain transparency in the system, bankers of a nationalized bank carry out the counting of currency notes and weigh the gold donated in the Hundi. Thereafter, the cash, gold and silver metals are transferred to the treasure locker, SJTA officials said.