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Mumbai: Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust, the managing body of Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak Temple, is telling devotees that it accepts donations in the form of shares and securities as well, apart from the traditional cash and gold.

“We want to send the message that we accept shares as well," Narendra Murari Rane, the chairman of the trust, said at a press conference held by SBICAP Securities Ltd at the temple on Tuesday.

“This will lead to more donations for the trust, which can be used for social causes," he added. He said the temple trust would not hold the shares but sell them the same day or the next day, irrespective of market conditions.

The trust already had a demat account to hold shares in electronic form, but opened a new one on Tuesday.

The trust has so far deposited 54 kilograms of gold in the Gold Monetisation Scheme. The trust holds around 160 kg of gold, of which around 72 kg is in the form of jewellery. The jewellery is auctioned around four times a year. If the auction does not attract enough response, the trust will melt the gold and deposit in the scheme, Rane said.

The trust receives around 75 crore of donations in cash and kind every year.

After shares, the trust will also start accepting other financial instruments such as mutual funds, bonds, and gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

The Mumbai temple is not the first one to go the shares way. Last year, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the trust that manages the Andhra Pradesh-based Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, arguably the richest in India, opened a demat account.

In an October report, The Economic Times reported that trusts running other temples and places of worship had followed suit. The list includes Mumbai’s Babulnath Mandir, Shrinathji Temple in Rajasthan’s Nathdwara, Swaminarayan Hindu Temple, Shankaracharya Temple and Church of South India.

Mint couldn’t ascertain whether any of these temples have received substantial donations in the form of shares.

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