Bhubaneswar: Leaders cutting across party lines on Friday expressed grave concern over the uncertainty of the Jagannath Temple funds in the Yes Bank with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposing a moratorium citing serious deterioration in the financial position of the bank.
Briefing mediapersons here, senior BJD leader and former MLA of Puri, Maheswar Mohanty, said that the then chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had decided to keep the temple funds in the Yes Bank to get more interest and it was a wrong decision. “It is a matter of grave concern that the Yes Bank is now likely to go into bankruptcy. The SJTA should convene an urgent meeting with the RBI authorities for the recovery of the temple fund from the private bank,” he pointed out.
Congress leader Suresh Routray said the state government should clarify as to why it had decided to keep the temple funds in a private bank instead of a nationalized bank. “We will not tolerate such misutilization of the property of the Lord Jagannath. We will stage a statewide agitation if the state government fails to take any step for the recovery of the temple funds at the earliest,” he added.
BJP leader Bhrugu Buxipatra said that the state government should take immediate step to withdraw the money of Lord Jagannath. “The state government should know that it has no right to fiddle with the temple funds,” he noted.
Allaying the apprehensions, Law Minister Pratap Jena said there is no uncertainty over the temple funds.
“The state government has already taken a decision to keep the temple funds in a nationalized bank. Of the total Rs 626,44,78,444, Rs 592 crore was kept in Yes Bank with Rs 545 crore as fixed deposit and Rs 47 crore in a Flexi account till September 30, 2019. While the money kept in the Flexi account has been withdrawn, the remaining Rs 545 crore will be transferred to a nationalized bank in two phases after their maturity on March 16 and 29 this year, he added.