Sitharaman Assures Safety Of Jagannath Temple Funds

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured a team of BJD MPs that funds of the Shree Jagannath Temple, deposited in the crisis-hit Yes Bank, are safe.

The BJD delegation, led by Prasanna Acharya, decided to take the matter to the Finance Minister in New Delhi, seeking her help to get the funds released. The MPs handed over a letter addressed to Sitharaman by State Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari, requesting for necessary action to be taken to protect the funds, belonging to lakhs of devotees.

“We met the Union Minister today to discuss the SJTA funds deposited in Yes Bank. We urged her to take steps so that the funds can be withdrawn without any hassles. She has assured us that SJTA funds are safe and there will be no problem at all,” Acharya said after a meeting with Sitharaman.

It is believed that funds worth Rs 592 crore were parked in Yes Bank’s Puri branch last year, out of which Rs 545 crore was set aside in fixed deposits and the rest in a flexi account.

A petition on this matter has also been filed in Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) by activist Pradipta Nayak. He has requested a probe into this matter of ‘unfair handling of Puri Jagannath Temple’s money’.