Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Shree Siddhivinayak temple buys into Indian Government Gold Scheme

Mumbai's two-century-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple, which is devoted to the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha, has decided to move 40 kg of its gold reserves towards the PM Narendra Modi's government Gold Monetization Scheme.

The temple has more than 160 kg of gold and is partly plated in the precious metal. Some other rich temples, such as the Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Kerala, where a treasure estimated then to be worth over $20 billion was discovered in secret vaults in 2011, are stuck in legal disputes and cannot participate.

The government is trying to persuade rich temples to deposit some of their gold hoards to cut gold imports.
India is the world's second-biggest consumer of gold after China and the country's insatiable appetite mean imports of the precious metal account for 28 percent of India's trade deficit.

In a bid to reduce the economically crippling imports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme to tap a pool of more than 20,000 tonnes of gold lying idle in temples. India's temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries.