January 6, 2017
Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh: Demonetisation’s short term gain has not just hit mere mortals in the country. It has also hit the richest Lord in the world– Lord Balaji, who holds fort at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh.
Not only has his daily income has been steadily falling since demonetisation, he has been left with bundles of useless currency notes worth several lakhs of rupees in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which was banned as legal tender since November 8.
According to sources in the trust that runs the temple, daily earnings that used to hover around Rs 3 crore per day before demonetisation had taken a hit. Apart from which, the trust is sitting on mounds of demonetised currency notes.
Like the common praja, even the Lord can do nothing but move the real lord of currency in modern day India – The Reserve Bank of India, which has been silent over a request from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that they be allowed to accept the daily offerings by devotees in old currency notes.
Till December 31, the banks had accepted the old currency notes. But since then, the banks have refused to accommodate the TTD, sources said. On an average, per day offerings in demonetised currencies amount to Rs 30 to Rs 40 lakhs.
Appeals by the TTD, in the form of a letter to the RBI, have so far fallen on deaf ears, the temple trust sources lament. TTD sources say that despite appeals to pilgrims not to make offerings in invalid currency notes, daily the offerings were being made in the Hundi.
So, the TTD is left with mounds of old currencies and it does not know what to do with them. Just like the old coins that have gone out of usage and that the TTD still has stored in its strong rooms, the currency notes are also being stored as of now.