The Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee (GDMC) has rejected a request by the Reserve Bank of India to furnish details of the gold stock of the Srikrishna temple.
The RBI had requested the Devaswom to provide details of its gold assets as part of taking stock of the assets belonging to religious places in the country.
The managing committee communicated to the RBI that it was difficult to assess the gold stock of the temple.
PTI adds: “The RBI had requested the GDMC to provide details of the gold stock in its possession as part of collecting gold assets of places of religious worship in the country,” Devaswom administrator K. Muraleedharan said.
The Devaswom has already communicated to the RBI its inability to provide the details as it was impractical to assess the gold stock correctly, he said on Sunday. A decision in this regard was taken at the GDMC meeting here yesterday, he said. The government-constituted GDMC’s term expired about two months ago and was now being managed by an ad hoc committee, comprising permanent members, including Devaswom Commissioner V.M. Gopala Menon and the administrator.
The Thrissur-based Jana Sevana Munnani Samithi (Public Service Front Council), a charitable trust, had requested it be given details of the gold and diamonds in the possession of the Devaswom under the Right to Information Act about three months ago.
The Devaswom did not provide the information on the ground it was not bound to give it to trusts and other institutions, council president Soman Pillai said.
On September 9, a senior Devaswom official had confirmed receiving a request from the RBI, seeking details of its gold stocks.
RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala had admitted the RBI had written to temple boards in Kerala but clarified that the objective of the letter was to collect data and that the September 1 statement of the RBI had said “there was no proposal under its consideration to buy gold and bullion from temples.” Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur is one of the richest temples in the country which has at its disposal vast reserves of gold and other valuables, offered by devotees over the years.