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Lord Money Secured;FM

Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari said the Lord’s  funds are managed by the Managing Committee of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and not by the State Government.

“The state government has no role in the deposit of the Lord’s money in any bank,” the Minister said, while replying to an adjuornment motion tabled by Opposition.

The Finance Minister also informed the House that the SJTA deposited Rs 545 crore in the Yes Bank in a tender process because it offered highest interest rate of 8.61 per cent.
He said 12 commercial banks had participated in the tender.
While Yes Bank quoted interest rate at 8.61 per cent, Indus Bank offered 8.60 per cent and HDFC quoted 7.75 per cent interest over the deposit to be made by the SJTA. “The SJTA chose to keep the money in fixed deposit for one year in Yes Bank,” he said.
While replying to opposition queries, the Finance Minister said, “The finance department in a letter on October 21, 2019 had told to all the departments to verify financial health of banks before parking money. However, RBI had raised objection over the state finance secretary’s directive on October 25, 2019. The RBI had said that the finance department cannot issue such type of directive as the central bank has been keeping tab on the financial condition of all banks.”
Mr.Pujari said, the RBI had never given any indication of the financial situation of Yes Bank before March 5, 2020.
Stating that Yes Bank was established in 2004 during the UPA government, Pujari said the same private bank also functioned for six years under the NDA regime. None had raised objection on this private bank earlier.
While stating that the State Government was equally concerned over the safety of Lord’s Rs 545 crore in the Yes Bank, the Finance Minister said he has already written a letter to the Union Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman on March 7. The SJTA has also on the same date has written to the RBI.
This apart, the ruling BJD MPs have also met the Union Finance Minister seeking her intervention for early release of Lord’s fixed deposit of Rs 545 crore in the Yes Bank.
“The Centre has assured us to secure the Lord’s money,” Mr.Pujari said.


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