Jewellery donated to temples to be converted into bars: Minister

Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments P.K. Sekar Babu inspecting the renovation works at Arulmigu Sugavaneswarar Temple in Salem on Friday.   | Photo Credit: LAKSHMI NARAYANAN E

Gold jewellery donated to temples will be converted into gold bars and deposited in banks as part of revenue generation, said Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister P.K. Sekar Babu. Mr. Sekar Babu along with Minister for Tourism M.Mathiventhan, District Collector S.Karmegham and other senior officials inspected the temples here on Friday.

On measures taken for revenue generation in the department, Mr.Babu told reporters that gold jewellery donated to temples during the past nine years have not been melted. “Jewellery donations that remain after use by respective temples will be melted at a recognised agency in Mumbai and the gold bars would be deposited in banks for an interest rate of 2.5%. According to our estimates, we could get an interest of ₹ 20 crore a year,” he said. Funds generated would be used for temples and steps were on to set up a committee comprising experts, gold valuers and officers in Joint Commissioner rank to oversee these works.

On the BJP‘s demand that Hindu temples should be freed from government control, Mr.Babu said the temples were not private properties.

The demand is illogical and practically not possible, he added. He said temples would be developed like never before and necessary works would be carried out at the earliest. Health checks for the 30 temple elephants were being conducted once in 15 days, he added.

Mr.Babu said that lands that belong to temples were being fenced and works were on to remove encroachments and collect pending rent dues.

Visiting the Arthanareeswarar Temple in Tiruchengode, Mr.Babu told presspersons that as promised in the DMK election manifesto, steps were being taken to set up rope car facilities at five temples including the Arthanareeswarar Temple.

On recent raids at the residence of former Minister M.R.Vijayabaskar, Mr.Babu said stern legal action would be taken against wrongdoers.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 3:44:19 AM |

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