But the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, popularly known as the Tirupati Temple that is believed to have been the abode of Lord Venkateswara for 5,000 years, may become the biggest contributor with more than 5.5 tonnes of gold. "It's a good scheme," said Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, the finance minister of Andhra Pradesh, where the temple is located."We have already issued a directive to go for the scheme." Seeking divine blessings, devotees have offered billions of dollars worth of jewellery, bars and coins to temples over the centuries. Tirupati has already deposited most of its gold with banks under previous monetisation schemes that offer interest of about 1 percent.
The temple investment committee evaluates and whichever scheme is beneficial then only Temple authorities are going to do that. The temple will move its entire hoard to Modi's programme if convinced. The new scheme offers annual interest of up to 2.5%. Rao said the temple would take a final decision in the next 10-15 days. The temple gets offerings of almost one tonne of gold every year and all of that could also be deposited under the new scheme.But Mumbai's two-century-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple, which is devoted to Lord Ganesha, remains unconvinced as banks accept deposits only after gold is melted down, leading to a potential loss in weight due to impurities. The government remains hopeful individuals and institutions will participate in the scheme under which banks will melt the deposited gold and loan it to jewellers. The scheme "will help in reducing our gold imports and save foreign exchange and deal with the problem of current account deficit.