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Why temples have not deposited gold with banks so far

By T E Narasimhan & Gireesh Babu
January 27, 2016 07:04 IST
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Lenders feel temples still have a few apprehensions.

Image: Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone offers prayers at Siddhivinayak in Mumbai Photograph: PTI.

While Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust in Mumbai is ready to deposit gold in hand in the new gold monetisation scheme (GMS), the Trust said that so far no bank had approached them to accept gold as deposit.

Meanwhile, bankers have said that temples are not coming forward to deposit as they have a few apprehensions.

After participating in Brainstorming session at India Gold Forum, organised by Bullion Bulletin at Chennai, Sanjiv S Patil, executive officer of the Temple, told Business Standard, “The Trust has resolved to deposit 44.577 kg of raw gold out of its holding in GMS 2015."

According to him, before launch of GMS 2015, the Trust had already deposited 10 kilograms of gold in State Bank of India (SBI) under the Gold Deposit Scheme.

The Trust has been earning around Rs 1.95 lakh per annum as interest and now under the scheme it hopes to get around Rs 25 lakh per annum. 

Patil said, “Now that most of the things have been clarified by the RBI and the government, we could soon be able to deposit gold with the banks."

Bankers say that some temples want gold back on maturity, but they are not ready for short term deposit where gold can be given back. Neerja Nigam, DGM - precious metals, State Bank of India confirmed this. Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust however said they don’t have any such issues.

Neerja Nigam said, "We have set the ball rolling, if atleast temples come and deposit under long term deposit with 2.5% and if they are assured of giving back gold - around 4-5 tonnes is deposited from them - others will follow.”

According to industry sources, around 5,000 tonnes are lying with temples in the country.

The major chunk of which is with Tirumala temple at Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh.

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T E Narasimhan & Gireesh Babu in Chennai
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