NEW DELHI, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Reserve Bank of India has sent out a request to temples in the country’s southern states to disclose information on gold they possess, The Times of India said Friday.
Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh said earlier that imports of gold and crude oil in considerable quantities were exerting a deplorable effect on the trade balance deficit. He indicated that the government was pondering a possible reduction of purchases abroad by increasing purchases of gold inside the country.
In particular, it might buy gold from temples, he said. Officials on the cabinet of ministers deny the presence of any plans to buy out temple gold at the moment.
Hindu temples located in India’s southern states have huge resources of gold dating back to ancient times, since the southern of the Hindustan Peninsula was never trampled on by the troops of Muslim invaders. Also, believers continue making handsome donations.
For instance, sources say that in the Tirumala Venkatershwara temple in Andhra Pradesh the accumulated reserves of gold grow by up to a hundred kilograms a month and reserves of silver - by about 120 kilograms.
In July 2011, jewelry and items of antiquity amounting to $15 billion were found in Padmanbhaswami shrine in the state of Kerala. Experts say Hindu locals and religious organizations possess over 20,000 tons of gold.