Narendra Modi enacts plan to use temple gold to help alleviate India’s economic hard times and will potentially raise billions of dollars.
Recently the workers of the century-old Hindu Shree Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, spent hours unpacking gold coins, lustrous pendants, and some heavy wedding necklaces collected from a nearby protected “strong room.” The jewelry auctioneers were ready even before the gold buyers started to mingle with the worshipers. According to a board member of the temples, the gold coins found are not just any coins that can be bought in shops; these gold coins received blessings from Hindu temple leaders and can even be sold four times of their face value.
Protecting the Temple Gold
Most of the wealthy Hindu temples are the best repositories and are even reported to hold $1 trillion worth of private gold in India. The World gold Council estimated the value of this gold to be near about 22,000 tons. One such renowned temple in South India was once found in 2011 to be having hidden gold in their locked rooms. The estimated value of the treasury was $22 billion. They kept the gold hidden in a locked room, and rumors were spread that it was filled with snakes. The gold in all such temples can potentially be enough to feed the hungry.
Helping the Indian economy
Some portion of this hidden money is now going to contribute to the economy of India by an initiative taken by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new government under Narendra Modi is looking forward to monetize the vast hidden treasure of India. The government has taken an initiative according to which all the temples are bound to deposit their gold treasures to the banks in order to get interest and circulate it in the economy rather than sitting upon the musty vaults. Official reports say that the gold will be melted down gradually and will be sold to the jewelers.
It is a known fact that India is the leading consumer of gold in the world. The nation also imports near about 1,000 tons of gold every year. With Narendra Modi at the nation’s helm, India hopes to win over the Hindu temples into depositing some of the gold treasures to maintain the trade balance of the country. This gold treasure is also expected to guard the foreign exchange coffers.
Until now none of these gold reserves were monetized or traded. However, some with a more traditional point of view are of the opinion that if the gold of the temples is monetized, it can hurt the religious sentiments of the pious Indians. But in order to face the hard economic times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched this course of action.