India's richest temple opens doors for demat to accept donations

Hyderabad - Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has opened a demat account with the Stock Holding Corporation of India.

By P S Jayaram

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Published: Sat 8 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Aug 2015, 8:28 AM

Tirumala, the country's richest shrine, has opened a demat account to enable devotees to offer donations in the form of shares and securities.
Billed as the first such move in the country by any temple, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the affairs of the hill shrine, has opened a demat account with the Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCI).
This will enable the temple board to accept contributions from devotees and philanthropists in the form of electronically held shares and securities.
At present, the authorities are finding it difficult to get the physical share certificates, dropped in the temple hundi by the devotees, transferred on the temple's name. Demat or dematerialised account is needed for electronically keeping shares and securities.
"The TTD's decision to open a demat account is primarily aimed at addressing the hassles pertaining to transferring the physical share certificates. It has been receiving physical share certificates as donations by devotees in its open hundi," said P S Reddy, Managing Director and CEO of Central Depositories Service (CDSL).
With an annual turnover crossing Rs2.4 billion, the Tirumala temple, nestled in the picturesque string of seven hills in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, is considered the richest shrine in the country.
It receives huge donations from devotees in cash, gold and other precious metals and stock certificates. It is reported that TTD has gold reserves worth Rs700 billion in the form of gold biscuits, bricks, statuettes, coins and ornaments. About 80 to 100kgs of gold is offered by devotees every month.

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