A whopping 1,800 kg of gold offerings made by devotees of Lord Venkateswara at the famous hill shrine at Tirumala was today deposited with the State Bank of India, taking the total deposits made by it so far with various banks to more than 5,000 kg.
Executive officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the cash-rich temple, MG Gopal handed over the gold to State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya at the TTD Headquarters here, in the first deposit of the precious metal by the temple in the last two years.
The gold offered by devotees in the hill temple hundi was deposited under SBI Gold Scheme for a period of five years at the rate of interest of 1%, which effectively would mean addition of 12 kg of gold per year, Gopal told reporters.
"TTD has not made any gold deposits in the last two years as the banks have stopped accepting gold due to restrictions imposed by the RBI. After negotiating with various banks, SBI has first come forward to accept the gold deposits at one per cent interest rate per annum and we welcomed it," he added.
Bhattacharya said in terms of quantity, this was the largest single deposit of gold made with the bank in the entire country.
"We are fortunate to be a part of this divine mission. The deposited gold will be taken to Government Mint at Mumbai by SBI by incurring transportation charges, transit insurance, melting and refining charges and pure gold of 0.995 purity is taken as gold deposit," she explained.
The interest on gold deposit was likely to fetch TTD around 12 kg of pure gold every year, netting a total of around 60 kgs in the five year period, temple sources said.
Since 2010, on maturity of gold deposits, TTD has been converting the interest earned also into gold which would again be kept as deposits, they said.
Excluding today's deposit, TTD was having around 4,335 kg of pure gold under gold deposits with the SBI, Corporation Bank and Indian Overseas Bank. These gold deposits earn an interest of 70 kg of pure gold approximately every year to the TTD coffers, they added.