Rajahmundry: In an attempt to convert unused temple gold into a source of income, the endowments department has deposited around 164 kg of gold belonging to 33 temples falling under 6(A) category in North Andhra region with the State Bank of India under the Gold Bond Scheme (GBS) in the last three years. The department move came after the state government approved deposit of temple gold with the SBI. The minimum deposits under the scheme is 500 gm and temples can deposit gold for periods of three, four and five years.
The bank gives 0.75 per cent interest per annum up to three years and 1 per cent for a period of three to five years. After the deposit period, the SBI will return the gold ornaments or in form of gold biscuits to the temples. Speaking to Express, in-charge jewellery verification officer DLV Ramesh Babu said that the gold had been deposited after appraisal of the unused gold belonging to the temples was completed.
“The temples under the scheme are in Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari,Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts. Earlier unused gold were kept under the custody of executive officer and archakas of the respective temples. But, this move will help generate additional revenue for the temples,” he said.
Briefing on the appraisal of the temple gold, Ramesh Babu said, the process has been completed in 27 temples of the 33 falling under (6A) category. The appraisal was also completed in 201 temples of the 384 under 6(B) category and 177 of 830 temples category 6(C).