Money & Banking

TTD gets buyer for Tirupati’s mountain of foreign coins

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on September 11, 2018

The famous hill temple has accumulated 52 tonnes of foreign coins of various denominations over the last several years   -  THE HINDU

Plans to sell them as ‘sacred coins’ to non-resident Telugu society

In the backdrop of coffers overflowing with tonnes of foreign coins and attempts at disposing them not succeeding in the last six years, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the Lord Venkateswara Swamy Temple, has at last found a buyer, who may be able to help the temple deal with the problem of plenty.

The TTD board has approved a proposal by the Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu (APNRT) Society, a 100 per cent State Government-owned society, to procure these coins and distribute them as ‘sacred coins’ on a cost-to-cost basis to NRTs living overseas.

The famous hill temple has accumulated 52 tonnes of foreign coins of various denominations as offerings over the last several years at the Srivari Hundi. These accumulated coins have been stored by TTD in the Treasury and at Parakamani storage points.

Of the total foreign coins accumulated, around 40 tonnes are Malaysian and 12 tonnes are non-Malaysian. According to APNRT’s proposal, the society will procure the foreign coins from TTD at market rate (on the date of taking delivery), and intends to make available these ‘sacred coins’ to all its members and other interested parties all over the world. At first instance, the society intends to take the coins of the US and the UK from TTD.

APNRT is a AP Government initiative to unite the Telugu diaspora worldwide, and provide them a platform to engage with their motherland in ways and means that are symbiotic in nature.

The disposal of foreign coins was carried out by TTD on weighment basis till 2003. In 2009, the disposal was done as per ‘the rate quoted per piece to the respective country denominations’. Thereafter, the disposal was not carried out as it was felt that antique verification of the accumulated foreign coins had to done. TTD arranged for segregation of antique coins by numismatic experts from its holding of foreign coins. So far, about 25 tonnes of foreign coins have been verified by the experts, and the remaining will be verified at the time of disposal.

Published on September 11, 2018

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