Rich Indian temples may have to open their gold vaults

Rowdy

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Rich Indian temples may have to open their gold vaults for PM Narendra Modi

Mumbai/New Delhi: The two-century-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai devoted to the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha bristles with close circuit cameras and is guarded by 65 security officers.
It is one of India's richest temples, having amassed 158 kg of gold offerings, worth some $67 million, and its heavily guarded vaults are strictly off limits.
India is the world's biggest consumer of gold and its ancient temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries - all hidden securely in vaults, some ancient and some modern.

A few years ago a treasure of gold worth an estimated $20 billion was discovered in secret subterranean vaults in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala state.
Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to get his hands on this temple gold, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two thirds of the gold held in the US bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to help tackle India's chronic trade imbalance. Modi's government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments.
The government would melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 percent of India's trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.
India's annual gold imports of 800 to 1,000 tonnes could be cut by a quarter if temples decided to participate in the scheme, say government and industry sources.
"We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalized banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest," said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated.
But some Hindu devotees are not happy with the idea that their offerings could be melted down.
A Mumbai-based gold merchant, who said he and his father had donated around 200 kg of gold to Siddhivinayak and other temples over the years, said it would be a sin for the temples to earn interest on the gold offered to the gods.
"I make donations to God; not to any temple trust," the 52-year-old merchant said.
Modi would also like to convince Indians to open their family vaults, which hold an estimated 17,000 tonnes of gold in jewellery and other heirlooms.
But it will be much harder to convince Indian families, who sometimes have little faith in financial institutions, to break tradition and hand over gold passed down the generations.
India's love affair with gold spans centuries is rooted in the Hindu religion. One of the biggest annual buying seasons is the Diwali festival around October to November. Gold marriage dowries are widespread and with 70 percent of the population rural, gold is financial security.

Interest Rate Key
Key to Modi's plan will be the interest rates offered for gold deposits.

A similar gold monetization plan launched in 1999 proved ineffective, in part because the interest rates offered on gold deposits were regarded by temple officials as too low.
Under that scheme India's top lender the State Bank of India offers 0.75 percent to 1 percent and only 15 tonnes of gold has been deposited so far.
Temple officials at Siddhivinayak and Shri Saibaba Sansthan in Shirdi, both in the western state of Maharashtra, say they expect interest rates in the new scheme to be much higher and so would consider participating.
The government plans to reveal rate details when it launches the new scheme. Siddhivinayak's Rane said he expected at least 5 percent interest on gold deposits.
Rajendra Jadhav, executive officer of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan temple trust, said rates will also be key to his temple's decision. He declined to say how much gold the temple, dedicated to a 19th century saint, had in its vaults.
A successful gold monetization programme could go a long way in helping India reduce its trade imbalance.
India raised the import duty on gold, the country's biggest non-essential import, and imposed other restrictions in 2013 after the current account deficit hit a record $190 billion.
If India can cut imports, that would pressure gold prices that fell to a four-month low last month before recovering. Lower gold prices will help India cut its import bill.However, a successful scheme could also expose the government to potential risks, if gold prices were to take off and depositors decided to withdraw at the same time.
"There is going to be a lock-in period under the new gold monetizing scheme," said Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst at precious metals consultancy GFMS. "Banks will have to replenish the stocks with imports later (if temples withdraw gold)."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I oppose this move 100% ...... All that money will just be used to fund hajj for mullah or christians for conversions and eaten up in corruptions.
Indian temples must be freed from these a$$holes.
Mark my words- this has the potential to kill hinduism.


@Tshering22 @Rashna @Mad Indian @maomao and others
 
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Rashna

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I am not sure what the religious take on this is, however in so far as household gold stashes go this is a sensible idea. Most of the jewellery never gets worn and is virtually a dead investment. Because of the traditional interest in buying new gold and never selling gold (except when in dire straits) each household keeps amassing gold inspite of having loads of unworn jewellery lying around. This scheme would be excellent for people who want to get this unused jewellery melted down valued and deposited securely in return for interest. This should also be something akin to liquid gold, that people could withdraw whenever they required it.


Grubb: Indian Women Hold More Gold than the US Government
Interviewed by CNBC's Bob Pisani, the World Gold Council's Managing Director for Investment, Marcus Grubb, says: "Of all the gold, about 166,000 tonnes, Indian jewelry is estimated to be about 18,000 tonnes. To put that into perspective, the (US Federal Reserve *) has total reserves of 8,133 tonnes. Indian Households, mainly Indian women, hold more gold than the U.S. Federal Reserve." (sic)

*Of course Grubb meant to say the U.S. Treasury, right?

Grubb cites demand for physical gold as a primary driver of the market. He sees strong demand for physical gold and ETFs in Q3 and assets that gold is not in a "bubble." -- Gene Arensberg

Source: CNBC Video



- See more at: Grubb: Indian Women Hold More Gold than the US Government - Got Gold Report

Rich Indian temples may have to open their gold vaults for PM Narendra Modi

Mumbai/New Delhi: The two-century-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai devoted to the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha bristles with close circuit cameras and is guarded by 65 security officers.
It is one of India's richest temples, having amassed 158 kg of gold offerings, worth some $67 million, and its heavily guarded vaults are strictly off limits.
India is the world's biggest consumer of gold and its ancient temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries - all hidden securely in vaults, some ancient and some modern.

A few years ago a treasure of gold worth an estimated $20 billion was discovered in secret subterranean vaults in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala state.
Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to get his hands on this temple gold, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two thirds of the gold held in the US bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to help tackle India's chronic trade imbalance. Modi's government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments.
The government would melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 percent of India's trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.
India's annual gold imports of 800 to 1,000 tonnes could be cut by a quarter if temples decided to participate in the scheme, say government and industry sources.
"We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalized banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest," said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated.
But some Hindu devotees are not happy with the idea that their offerings could be melted down.
A Mumbai-based gold merchant, who said he and his father had donated around 200 kg of gold to Siddhivinayak and other temples over the years, said it would be a sin for the temples to earn interest on the gold offered to the gods.
"I make donations to God; not to any temple trust," the 52-year-old merchant said.
Modi would also like to convince Indians to open their family vaults, which hold an estimated 17,000 tonnes of gold in jewellery and other heirlooms.
But it will be much harder to convince Indian families, who sometimes have little faith in financial institutions, to break tradition and hand over gold passed down the generations.
India's love affair with gold spans centuries is rooted in the Hindu religion. One of the biggest annual buying seasons is the Diwali festival around October to November. Gold marriage dowries are widespread and with 70 percent of the population rural, gold is financial security.

Interest Rate Key
Key to Modi's plan will be the interest rates offered for gold deposits.

A similar gold monetization plan launched in 1999 proved ineffective, in part because the interest rates offered on gold deposits were regarded by temple officials as too low.
Under that scheme India's top lender the State Bank of India offers 0.75 percent to 1 percent and only 15 tonnes of gold has been deposited so far.
Temple officials at Siddhivinayak and Shri Saibaba Sansthan in Shirdi, both in the western state of Maharashtra, say they expect interest rates in the new scheme to be much higher and so would consider participating.
The government plans to reveal rate details when it launches the new scheme. Siddhivinayak's Rane said he expected at least 5 percent interest on gold deposits.
Rajendra Jadhav, executive officer of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan temple trust, said rates will also be key to his temple's decision. He declined to say how much gold the temple, dedicated to a 19th century saint, had in its vaults.
A successful gold monetization programme could go a long way in helping India reduce its trade imbalance.
India raised the import duty on gold, the country's biggest non-essential import, and imposed other restrictions in 2013 after the current account deficit hit a record $190 billion.
If India can cut imports, that would pressure gold prices that fell to a four-month low last month before recovering. Lower gold prices will help India cut its import bill.However, a successful scheme could also expose the government to potential risks, if gold prices were to take off and depositors decided to withdraw at the same time.
"There is going to be a lock-in period under the new gold monetizing scheme," said Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst at precious metals consultancy GFMS. "Banks will have to replenish the stocks with imports later (if temples withdraw gold)."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I oppose this move 100% ...... All that money will just be used to fund hajj for mullah or christians for conversions and eaten up in corruptions.
Indian temples must be freed from these a$$holes.
Mark my words- this has the potential to kill hinduism.


@<a href="http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/member.php?u=5580" target="_blank">Tshering22</a> @<a href="http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/member.php?u=16062" target="_blank">Rashna</a> @<a href="http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/member.php?u=10341" target="_blank">Mad Indian</a> @<a href="http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/member.php?u=3740" target="_blank">maomao</a> and others
 
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Mad Indian

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Rich Indian temples may have to open their gold vaults for PM Narendra Modi

Mumbai/New Delhi: The two-century-old Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai devoted to the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha bristles with close circuit cameras and is guarded by 65 security officers.
It is one of India's richest temples, having amassed 158 kg of gold offerings, worth some $67 million, and its heavily guarded vaults are strictly off limits.
India is the world's biggest consumer of gold and its ancient temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries - all hidden securely in vaults, some ancient and some modern.

A few years ago a treasure of gold worth an estimated $20 billion was discovered in secret subterranean vaults in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala state.
Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to get his hands on this temple gold, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two thirds of the gold held in the US bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to help tackle India's chronic trade imbalance. Modi's government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments.
The government would melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 percent of India's trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.
India's annual gold imports of 800 to 1,000 tonnes could be cut by a quarter if temples decided to participate in the scheme, say government and industry sources.
"We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalized banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest," said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated.
But some Hindu devotees are not happy with the idea that their offerings could be melted down.
A Mumbai-based gold merchant, who said he and his father had donated around 200 kg of gold to Siddhivinayak and other temples over the years, said it would be a sin for the temples to earn interest on the gold offered to the gods.
"I make donations to God; not to any temple trust," the 52-year-old merchant said.
Modi would also like to convince Indians to open their family vaults, which hold an estimated 17,000 tonnes of gold in jewellery and other heirlooms.
But it will be much harder to convince Indian families, who sometimes have little faith in financial institutions, to break tradition and hand over gold passed down the generations.
India's love affair with gold spans centuries is rooted in the Hindu religion. One of the biggest annual buying seasons is the Diwali festival around October to November. Gold marriage dowries are widespread and with 70 percent of the population rural, gold is financial security.

Interest Rate Key
Key to Modi's plan will be the interest rates offered for gold deposits.

A similar gold monetization plan launched in 1999 proved ineffective, in part because the interest rates offered on gold deposits were regarded by temple officials as too low.
Under that scheme India's top lender the State Bank of India offers 0.75 percent to 1 percent and only 15 tonnes of gold has been deposited so far.
Temple officials at Siddhivinayak and Shri Saibaba Sansthan in Shirdi, both in the western state of Maharashtra, say they expect interest rates in the new scheme to be much higher and so would consider participating.
The government plans to reveal rate details when it launches the new scheme. Siddhivinayak's Rane said he expected at least 5 percent interest on gold deposits.
Rajendra Jadhav, executive officer of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan temple trust, said rates will also be key to his temple's decision. He declined to say how much gold the temple, dedicated to a 19th century saint, had in its vaults.
A successful gold monetization programme could go a long way in helping India reduce its trade imbalance.
India raised the import duty on gold, the country's biggest non-essential import, and imposed other restrictions in 2013 after the current account deficit hit a record $190 billion.
If India can cut imports, that would pressure gold prices that fell to a four-month low last month before recovering. Lower gold prices will help India cut its import bill.However, a successful scheme could also expose the government to potential risks, if gold prices were to take off and depositors decided to withdraw at the same time.
"There is going to be a lock-in period under the new gold monetizing scheme," said Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst at precious metals consultancy GFMS. "Banks will have to replenish the stocks with imports later (if temples withdraw gold)."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I oppose this move 100% ...... All that money will just be used to fund hajj for mullah or christians for conversions and eaten up in corruptions.
Indian temples must be freed from these a$$holes.
Mark my words- this has the potential to kill hinduism.


@Tshering22 @Rashna @Mad Indian @maomao and others

I completely agree. Is Modi govt trying to outsecular the CONs? Why dont they tap the funding into the madarassas and Church for development funds?
 
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Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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Guys, it is not forcible take away from temples yet. They will issue gold bonds with some interest rate for the whole country. Now if the temple wants to invest in the bond, they can. They are trying to convert into just another financial instrument.

Whether the temples would prefer to sit on their war chest of gold or invest is a different issue all together. But a little diversification on part of temples would not be bad.
 

Rowdy

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Guys, it is not forcible take away from temples yet. They will issue gold bonds with some interest rate for the whole country. Now if the temple wants to invest in the bond, they can. They are trying to convert into just another financial instrument.

Whether the temples would prefer to sit on their war chest of gold or invest is a different issue all together. But a little diversification on part of temples would not be bad.
Two crucial mistakes my friend :
a) Temples are not free- If modi wants , he can take over that gold (ofcourse he would have to pay )
b) Gold is real wealth - It can not replace paper. Something which is in infinite supply and derives its worth from consensus.
 

Rowdy

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I am not sure what the religious take on this is, however in so far as household gold stashes go this is a sensible idea. Most of the jewellery never gets worn and is virtually a dead investment. Because of the traditional interest in buying new gold and never selling gold (except when in dire straits) each household keeps amassing gold inspite of having loads of unworn jewellery lying around. This scheme would be excellent for people who want to get this unused jewellery melted down valued and deposited securely in return for interest. This should also be something akin to liquid gold, that people could withdraw whenever they required it.


Grubb: Indian Women Hold More Gold than the US Government
Interviewed by CNBC's Bob Pisani, the World Gold Council's Managing Director for Investment, Marcus Grubb, says: "Of all the gold, about 166,000 tonnes, Indian jewelry is estimated to be about 18,000 tonnes. To put that into perspective, the (US Federal Reserve *) has total reserves of 8,133 tonnes. Indian Households, mainly Indian women, hold more gold than the U.S. Federal Reserve." (sic)

*Of course Grubb meant to say the U.S. Treasury, right?

Grubb cites demand for physical gold as a primary driver of the market. He sees strong demand for physical gold and ETFs in Q3 and assets that gold is not in a "bubble." -- Gene Arensberg

Source: CNBC Video



- See more at: Grubb: Indian Women Hold More Gold than the US Government - Got Gold Report
For households I can understand ..... but not for temples ....
 
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Mad Indian

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Guys, it is not forcible take away from temples yet. They will issue gold bonds with some interest rate for the whole country. Now if the temple wants to invest in the bond, they can. They are trying to convert into just another financial instrument.

Whether the temples would prefer to sit on their war chest of gold or invest is a different issue all together. But a little diversification on part of temples would not be bad.
So you are saying it wont be forcibly confiscated under the guise of development?
 

Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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Two crucial mistakes my friend :
a) Temples are not free- If modi wants , he can take over that gold (ofcourse he would have to pay )
From the article above.
"We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalized banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest," said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated.

Temple officials at Siddhivinayak and Shri Saibaba Sansthan in Shirdi, both in the western state of Maharashtra, say they expect interest rates in the new scheme to be much higher and so would consider participating.


Well, if he has to pay how is it the same as taking away?

b) Gold is real wealth - It can not replace paper. Something which is in infinite supply and derives its worth from consensus.
Real wealth which is locked and does not serve any purpose other than inflation hedge. If times are good, paper money is no different than gold. If times are bad, govt can anyway confiscate gold because they control the army. So, unfounded fears do not make sense.

I think temples need good economic administration to get higher returns from diversified and safe instruments rather than keep wealth locked in gold.
 

Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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So you are saying it wont be forcibly confiscated under the guise of development?
I don't know whether it would be or not. I do not understand why the temple authorities did not melt it by now and earn better returns.
 

rock127

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If Gold is for God then how would God use it?

I thought God was above all these materials. :confused:
 

Rashna

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What is your concern with temples? In any case i don't think this will be made compulsory. It says "may have to". Temple trusts are already very rich because of cash donations. If this gold can be utilized for fueling domestic demand for gold, what is the harm? The gold is going to stay within the country. The gold will still be bought by indian households who do not stop amassing gold even when its price has reached a peak. Another side note is that gold is not going to be easily available in the future.


"Now, however, the world's gold mines may be becoming fully tapped. Some experts even believe that all gold mines could become fully tapped within the next 20 years. This could have a dramatic impact on gold and bullion prices as while supply may run out, demand most likely will not.

Gold production appears to have peaked in 2000 and since then new gold production has been declining by 1 million ounces each year. As of the end of 2010 there were only 51,000 tons of known gold reserves left in nature and at current production rates, these will run out within 20 years. Thus, unless large new deposits of gold are found that can be easily mined, the supply of new gold entering the market could drop considerably.

There is always a chance that new deposits of gold could be found, but new discoveries are becoming increasingly rare".

Are gold supplies running out? | Resource Investor

For households I can understand ..... but not for temples ....
 

Rowdy

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From the article above.
"We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalized banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest," said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated.

Temple officials at Siddhivinayak and Shri Saibaba Sansthan in Shirdi, both in the western state of Maharashtra, say they expect interest rates in the new scheme to be much higher and so would consider participating.


Well, if he has to pay how is it the same as taking away?
He's taking in Gold and paying in paper. Anyway let further details emerge. Most temples are in government control and asking is just a formality.


Real wealth which is locked and does not serve any purpose other than inflation hedge. If times are good, paper money is no different than gold. If times are bad, govt can anyway confiscate gold because they control the army. So, unfounded fears do not make sense.

I think temples need good economic administration to get higher returns from diversified and safe instruments rather than keep wealth locked in gold.
Read this

'Peak Gold' in 2015? - Goldman Sachs Research Warns of Peak Gold Production - GoldCore Gold Bullion Dealer

F**king a$$holes first put india under a massive CAD and then eye hindu gold as bailout ......
All the while hindu's are being thrown to islamist, leftists and separatist pigs cheered on by the media.
Why do they want communal gold when this is a "secular" republic?
@Rashna
I am concerned because temples lose real gold , and will be used to mask the historical inefficiency of Indian secular state.
 
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Mad Indian

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I don't know whether it would be or not. I do not understand why the temple authorities did not melt it by now and earn better returns.
But is melting the old gold treasures a good idea? I would much rather not melt such old gold jewellery
 

Rowdy

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If Gold is for God then how would God use it?

I thought God was above all these materials. :confused:
While these are cultural and theological reasons, the gold is used for religious reasons in reality.
 

Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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But is melting the old gold treasures a good idea? I would much rather not melt such old gold jewellery
If it is of historical significance probably you can earn much more return by selling it to a museum. I just meant use it for the best possible purpose. Lying in the vault it serves no purpose. You can even fund "Ghar Wapsi"!! Why stupid RSS never thinks about it.
 

Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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He's taking in Gold and paying in paper. Anyway let further details emerge. Most temples are in government control and asking is just a formality.

Read this

'Peak Gold' in 2015? - Goldman Sachs Research Warns of Peak Gold Production - GoldCore Gold Bullion Dealer

F**king a$$holes first put india under a massive CAD and then eye hindu gold as bailout ......
All the while hindu's are being thrown to islamist, leftists and separatist pigs cheered on by the media.
Why do they want communal gold when this is a "secular" republic?
@Rashna
I am concerned because temples lose real gold , and will be used to mask the historical inefficiency of Indian secular state.
So, what do you do if it has hit peak gold levels? Keep sitting on it, waiting indefinitely for demand to rise to increase the prices. And do what in the end- nothing!

Are you arguing that such a huge stock is better lying in the vaults? We should not put it to any productive use even if temples have no problem investing it themselves.
 
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rock127

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If it is of historical significance probably you can earn much more return by selling it to a museum. I just meant use it for the best possible purpose. Lying in the vault it serves no purpose.

You can even fund "Ghar Wapsi"!! Why stupid RSS never thinks about it.
The Gold would rott in the Temple dungeons/vaults and God is not going to come on earth and use it.

It's funny to think that God wants us to gift him Gold and stuff.Why not channel the money towards some education/job stuff etc.God would be really happy for that.

If it can be used for Ghar Wapsi then it can be great. :thumb:
 

Razor

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The gold belongs to the Temple and to the people (mostly hindus) of the Travancore region from which most of it was obtained.
 

Mad Indian

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If it is of historical significance probably you can earn much more return by selling it to a museum. I just meant use it for the best possible purpose. Lying in the vault it serves no purpose. You can even fund "Ghar Wapsi"!! Why stupid RSS never thinks about it.
How can they when the temples and so by proxie the gold in it belong to the GOI?
 

Mad Indian

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So, what do you do if it has hit peak gold levels? Keep sitting on it, waiting indefinitely for demand to rise to increase the prices. And do what in the end- nothing!

Are you arguing that such a huge stock is better lying in the vaults? We should not put it to any productive use even if temples have no problem investing it themselves.
I have no problem with this idea, so long as it is voluntary. But I can only hope that this is actually voluntary
 

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