SJTA finance committee approves Rs 202 budget of Puri Jagannath temple

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Puri, Mar 10 (PTI) As the finance committee of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) approved a Rs 202 crore annual budget for 2021-22 fiscal, the temple authorities on Wednesday said they have set a target to enhance the corpus fund to Rs 1,000 crore by 2023.

This was stated by SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar after presiding over the finance committee meeting here.

He said the temple's earning has declined to a low this year for which efforts should be made to enhance the income. The temple presently has a corpus fund of Rs 650 crore which need to be enhanced to meet the expenditures.

He said other measures like putting donation boxes (hundis) at airports, railway stations and other important places will be undertaken. This apart, temple's several stone quarry should be auctioned for mining which could fetch a good revenue, the SJTA chief administrator said.

Kumar said about Rs 10 crore could be generated in the current year by granting stone quarry leases. It has been planned to enhance the amount of corpus fund to Rs 750 crore in the next year and set a target to augment the amount to Rs 1000 crore by 2023, he said.

In regard to the finance sub-committee's approval of Rs 202 crore for the next fiscal, Kumar said the Temple Management Committee headed by Gajapati Maharaja of Puri, will give final approval to the 2021-22 budget.

Referring to the budget provisions for the 2021-22, he said the servitors and their family members will be getting financial assistance for critical illness like heart and kidney-related illness. The scheme will be implemented on the lines of Odisha State Treatment Fund (STF), he said.

An indicative amount of Rs 50 lakh has been earmarked for the purpose which may be revised later once the guidelines are prepared, he said, adding that Rs 5 crore is earmarked for the servitors welfare fund. The amount will be used for the welfare of servitors including medical expenses.

This apart, Kumar said provisions have been made for the proposed Adarsh Gurukul to be set up on around 17 acres of land here. The construction work is likely to begin next year.

Replying to a question, Kumar said: 'The draft budget includes allocation of Rs 11 crore for 2021 Ratha Jatra'.

The meeting also disused on increasing the donation for the temple to meet all expense like daily rituals, Lord's ornaments, attire and others. Construction of Dharmasala for Habisyalis and a Bhakta Niwas has almost been completed and will be made available to devotees from the next Financial Year. Another Bhakta Niwas will be developed for which officials have been asked to identify land,' he added.

Meanwhile, BJP's Odisha unit President Samir Mohanty and two party MLAs - Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (Brahmagiri) and Jayant Sarangi (Puri), on Wednesday donated Rs 50,000 each for the development of the temple. Earlier, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had donated Rs 1 lakh to the temple, sources said. PTI COR AAM RG RG