Keeping its promise, the Siddhivinayak temple trust has deposited 44.536kg of gold, which includes 9 carat to 24 carat gold ornaments, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious gold monetisation scheme (GMS).
Ravi Jadhav, deputy chief executive officer of Siddhivinayak temple, said, “In accordance with the scheme, the melting of gold will be done at a government mint. The scheme will help the temple trust earn 2.25% interest on the gold deposited with the banks.”
According to the GMS, launched in November 2015, citizens or entities can deposit gold and earn an interest of up to 2.5% annually. The temple is yet to ascertain the amount they will earn as interest under the scheme.
Sanjeev Patil, chief executive officer of temple trust, said, “The interest earned will be utilised by the trust to carry out charity works such as helping poor patients avail of dialysis and other medical treatment.”
“Before this scheme was introduced, a government rule mandated that we auction the gold ornaments that devotees would offer. The gold ornaments, which did not find a bidder even after three rounds, was deposited in the bank’s locker,” said Jadhav.
After the Centre launched the gold monetisation scheme, the trust has decided to keep the gold with the government.
According to the government, India has 20,000 tonnes of gold lying idle with household and various religious trusts. Also, every year India imports around 1,000 tonnes of gold. The GMS will increase the availability of gold and reduce its import.