Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board plans to deposit with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the gold offerings that devotees make at the various temples falling under it. The RBI will offer bonds in return for the gold.
The gold offerings will be melted and purified before depositing them with the RBI.
The Devaswom board has taken an in-principle decision to this effect and it is now in the process of estimating the value of gold at the various temples under it, president N Vasu said.
The initial estimate is that the quantity of such gold could be over 1,200 kg. The evaluation process will be completed by the end of this month.
The ornaments used for temple ritual and poojas, daily worship and those that have antique value will not be touched, he said.
The other gold ornaments, thalis and coins received as offerings from devotees will be melted and deposited with the RBI, he said. These offerings have been sealed in packets and stored in the strong rooms of the temples, he said.
The RBI will pay 2 per cent of the value of the gold as interest for the deposit to be held in the name of the Devaswom board.
An official decision will be taken after a board meeting, Vasu said.
The offerings made at the Guruvayur temple and Tirupati are also stored similarly with the RBI in return for bonds. The Guruvayur temple earns Rs 10.5 crore as annual interest from the gold deposit.
Meanwhile, opposition is brewing against the proposed move of the Travancore Devaswom board.