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TTD can accept foreign currency from undisclosed sources

TTD can accept foreign currency from undisclosed sources

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the country’s richest temple of Lord Venkateshwara, can now accept foreign currency deposits offered by foreigners without disclosing details of the donors in the name of Lord.

The Central government has given permission to the TTD to this effect. However, this exemption has been given only to the TTD under Section 50(c) of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and not for all the temples in the country.

Recently, the Central government suspended TTD’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration for violating certain rules and fined it Rs 14 crore.

However, the TTD management negotiated with Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) for three months, and the penalty has been reduced to Rs 3 crore.

The TTD paid the penalty and renewed its FCRA registration in March. Later, MHA asked TTD to provide details of the foreign depositors where the TTD administration explained the issues of checking the credentials of donors.

Following the explanation of TTD officials, the MHA gave a positive response and stated the exemption given to the TTD over foreign currency deposits.

The Union Minister of Home Affairs, S. Muthu Kumar, stated that Tirumala is the first temple in the country to be granted this facility.

The TTD also requested the Centre to waive off Rs 3 crore it had paid for the renewal of its FCRA licence.

At the recent trust board meeting, TTD chairman YY Subba Reddy said the TTD’s FCRA registration expired on January 2020, and it has already applied for its renewal. 

He also declared that the TTD frequently clarifies issues raised by the Union Home Ministry.

“Due to technical errors between FCRA and the State Endowments Department, several foreign contributors objected to the interest accounting of such deposits. The TTD has already paid a fee of Rs 3 crore as instructed by FCRA authorities in order to hasten the licence renewal,” Subba Reddy said.


Tags: TTD