This would immensely cut down on the imports of the yellow metal, thereby hurting the country's economy. If terms and conditions suit, the temple will contribute close to 5.5 tonnes of gold.
Meanwhile, the government did not get a very enthusiastic response from the public after the launch of the scheme as only 1 Kg of Gold could be accumulated out of the recorded 20,000 tonnes of Gold lying idle in the country. The finance minister of Andhra Pradesh, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, said,"It's a good scheme. We have already issued a directive to go for the scheme."
This could go a mile ahead in satisfying India's insatiable demand for Gold, which makes it the second largest consumer in the world after China.
Tirupati is said to have already deposited most of its Gold with banks under previous monetisation schemes that offer interest of 1 percent. THis scheme, however, will have an annual interest of 2.5%. Rao said that the temple will take a final call in the next 10-15 days.
Raising scepticism over the melting of Gold before being accepted to banks, several other temples have said that melting will lead to loss in weight due to impurities. The government, however, is hopeful that people will wake up to the advantages of the scheme and start depositing their Gold. This would later be loaned to the jewellers.
The finance ministry said,"the scheme will help in reducing our gold imports and save foreign exchange and deal with the problem of current account deficit."