The investment committee of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has advised its management to explore best rate of interest for gold it can invest for a period of one to three years, according to sources.
The committee was satisfied with the interest rate at which the gold investments were made in the past and said that it would always look at going for the highest rate quoted by the bank for such investments, added the sources. They said that the committee also explored the ways in which under the corporate social responsibility, the companies can participate in the activities of TTD.
As reported earlier, the Tirumala or Balaji temple in Tirupati, one of the richest shrines in the world, has deposited 1,311 kg pure gold bars (0.995 fineness) with Punjab National Bank (PNB) under the new Gold Monetisation Scheme. TTD management is negotiating with public sector banks for better terms before making more such deposits.
TTD deposited first lot of gold under the three-year scheme and the PNB was chosen because it quoted the highest interest rate of 1.75% on short-term deposits. The short-term scheme allows deposits to be redeemed in gold, which temples like Tirupati favour. The TTD had written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government to amend the gold monetisation scheme.
"If we get a green signal from them, then we could be able to deposit the existing deposits as well new one also under medium and long term schemes," TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao said earlier. And later the RBI has allowed banks to redeem gold deposits with gold, banks have to simply change the structure of the schemes.
Tirumala temple gets about one tonne gold (usually in form of ornaments) every year as offerings from the devotees. This gold is then sent to the government mint in Mumbai for conversion into pure gold bars. When added with 4.2 tonnes of gold deposited under the old Gold Deposit Scheme with the SBI, TTD's total gold deposit in public sector banks has gone up to more than 5.5 tonnes, said an earlier report.