Yes Bank crisis raises concern over Jagannath Temple’s Rs 592 crore fund
Bhubaneswar: The Opposition parties and servitors of Jagannath Temple on Friday came down heavily on the Naveen Patnaik-led government for parking over Rs 592 crore belonging to the temple in the crisis-hit Yes Bank.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed the cash-strapped bank under Central government’s moratorium owing to serious deterioration in the financial position of the bank.
As per the RBI directive, depositors cannot withdraw more than Rs 50,000 from their bank accounts for a month starting March 5.
The decision has now led to uncertainty over temple deposits. The term deposit was to mature this month.
Senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra said keeping such a huge amount in a private bank was a mistake. He also demanded action against the person responsible for parking such a huge amount in the bank.
“Those who deposited Jagannath Temple funds in Yes Bank without knowledge of the temple managing committee must have received huge kickbacks.”
“It is unfortunate especially at a time when several private banks are getting bankrupt,” said Jagannath Sena convenor Priyadarsan Patnaik.
Senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said the State government should clarify as to why it had decided to keep the temple funds in a private bank instead of a nationalised bank.
“We will not tolerate such mis-utilisation of the property of Lord Jagannath. We will stage a state-wide agitation if the State government fails to take any steps for the recovery of the temple funds at the earliest,” said the Congress leader.
Former Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty said, “The then chief administrator of SJTA made a mistake by depositing the money in the private bank in order to get more interest. Present situation is worrisome, so the temple administration should discuss with RBI to withdraw the money.”
Allaying all concerns, Law Minister Pratap Jena said the money is with the bank as fixed deposits and not in a savings account.
“It had been decided in the Temple Managing Committee that the money will be transferred to a nationalised bank once the deposits mature later this month,” he said.