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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Devaswom rejects RBI request to provide details of gold stocks

PTI  Thrissur (Kerala), September 15, 2013
First Published: 18:49 IST(15/9/2013) | Last Updated: 18:53 IST(15/9/2013)

The Guruvayur Devaswom has rejected Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) request to provide details of gold assets of the famous Sri Krishna temple in that town.

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"RBI had requested the Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee (GDMC) to provide details of gold stock in its possession as part of collecting the gold assets of places of religious worship in the country," Devaswom administrator K Muraleedharan said.

The Devaswom has already communicated to RBI, its inability to provide the details as it was 'impractical' to assess the gold stock correctly, Muraleedharan said here on Sunday. A decision in this regard was taken at the GDMC meeting here on Saturday, he said.

The state government-constituted GDMC's term expired about two months ago and is now being managed by an ad hoc committee, comprising permanent members, including Devswom commissioner VM Gopala Menon and the administrator.

Thrissur-based Jana Sevana Munnani Samithi (Public Service Front Council), a charitable trust had requested it be given details of gold and diamond in the possession of the Devaswom under 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 receiving a request from RBI, asking them to provide details of their gold stocks.

RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala had admitted they 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 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.

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