Faced with the problematic issue of holding demonetised notes deposited by pilgrims in Hundis, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has requested the Centre to permit it to deposit demonetised of ₹500 and ₹1,000 with the Reserve Bank of India.

The deposited notes could, in turn, be used for development works undertaken by TTD.

YV Subba Reddy, Chairman, TTD, called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and requested her to take it up with the Centre and the RBI to enable the Devasthanams deposit these demonetised notes. These were deposited by pilgrims, which is beyond the control of the TTD.

The Ministry of Finance, in its notification, had demonetised ₹500 and ₹l ,000 notes, which seized to be a legal tender from the midnight of November 8, 2016.

While the TTD is following RBI guidelines from then onwards and has stopped collecting old currency notes, hardship is being experienced in respect of depositing “sacred Hundi offerings” in bank accounts after the specified dates which needs redressal.

This is one areawhere the TTD has absolutely no control. The pilgrim can offer anything as it is anonymous sacred and sentiments are attached.

The Hundi of Lord Venkateswara and other temples in the fold of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams continue to receive the old ₹1,000 and ₹500 currency. TTD maintains Hundi accounts with different banks as TTD has temples and Hundis across the country, and these deposits are deposited from different locations into the bank accounts maintained at different banks. There is a roadblock with the present regulation for deposit of specified bank notes received through Hundi Collections.

Therefore, the TTD has made several representaions to consider these notes and permit them to be deposited with the RBI. Since banks are barred from accepting them, it has resulted in the piling up of currency in the lockers of TTD and continues to remain without getting utilised for any public welfare measures. The RBI has informed that there is no window of opportunity to exchange/deposit these and holding this currency is punishable.