Himachal temples allowed to sell gold, silverBy IANS
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
SHIMLA - The Himachal Pradesh assembly Tuesday allowed state-administered temples to sell part of the gold and silver they received as donations from devotees.
The relevant bill, the Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Bill, 2010, brought in the state assembly April 9, was passed unanimously in the house in the absence of opposition Congress which walked out on other issues.
Now, temple authorities have permission to melt and dispose gold and silver lying in their stock for generating income.
Ten percent of gold can be used for various activities related to temples, 20 percent can be invested in the State Bank of India’s ‘Gold Bond Scheme’ and 70 percent can be kept reserved in the temples.
For silver, 60 percent of the total offering can be converted into coins and can be sold to devotees.
Himachal Pradesh has at least 13 multi-millionaire temples which have a huge accumulation of gold.
The temples include Chintpurni in Una district, Naina Devi in Bilaspur district, Jawalamukhi, Chamunda Devi and Brajeshwari Devi in Kangra district, Baba Balaknath in Hamirpur and Bhimkali and Hateshwari in Shimla district.