Due to the pandemic and prolonged lockdown, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) revealed that the trust has lost Rs 400 crore of revenue. The world’s richest shrine is closed for over 50 days in the wake of COVID-19 spread in the country. Anywhere from 1 lakh to 3 lakh people visit the temple daily but due to lockdown, there are no devotees form two months, leading its revenue hit the rock bottom.
The trust says that it does not have sufficient money to pay salaries to its staff or to meet the daily expenses. It is said that the trust has spent more than Rs 300 crore in paying salaries, and pensions. However, it is now looking for a solution “without having to touch” its eight tonnes of gold reserve and Rs 14,000 crore fixed deposits.
With the trust’s monthly income stands somewhere around Rs 200 crore before lockdown, ‘TTD is committed to paying salaries and pensions and has a set of other fixed expenses which it has to incur irrespective of its revenues hitting rock bottom. TTD has a fixed annual expenditure of nearly Rs 2,500 crore under different heads.” – said TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy.
The news has raised a few questions among netizens asking where are the funds that the temple earned all these years, expressing their shock and disbelief. While some argued that state government should be held responsible and verify what happened to the last two-decades’ funds. On the other hand, a few others said that the charge sheet of TTD, which is controlled by govt. clearly tells that they indeed lack money.
It is learned that despite no pilgrims, the daily rituals and festivals are performed as per the prescribed agamas. For the financial year 2020-21, the Tirumala Tirupati temple trust has decided on an annual budget of Rs 3,309.89 crore. After the closing of the temple due to the lockdown, the trust has suffered an estimated loss in hundi collections alone of Rs 150-175 crore.