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Commentary

Sell All The Excess Gold In Temples

Problem: India imports too much gold.

Facts: There is a lot of gold lying in temple vaults, including jewellery, donated by people over years. This does nothing but lie around and temples have already done all the decorating they need. .

Just one temple in Kerala has over 100,000 crore – $18 billion – worth of gold and jewellery beyond the dressings of the diety. The Tirupati temple even deposits one ton of gold a year with SBI and supposedly had 200 tons of gold. Households and temples together probably own 25,000 tons of gold – I believe temples then would have at least 2,000 tons of the metal.

Answer: Sell Excess Gold, Give Them Rupees

Temples have no real need for the gold, and they are non-profit entities. All gold that is received should be melted, converted into bricks and coins and sold in an online auction every month. If needed, the RBI can buy all that gold, or, with an online auction held at commodity exchanges, anyone can buy and take delivery. All the money received should go to the temple’s bank  account. (It’s not the government’s property)

There’s no real reason why a temple should hoard gold. And that applies to temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras or what have you. The gold is not “God” and if it’s a gift, it still remains a gift converted to rupees, that’s all.

(Oh, and please, tax any income on that money that is made by religious entities)

India imports 860 tonnes of gold a year. At Rs. 3,000 per gram, this means a bill of about 2.54 trillion rupees (lakh crores). Getting 200 tons of gold out of the temples every year for the next few years will help bridge the gap.

Religion can come in the way, and in that, emotions run amok. Sequestering of temple gold might take a leap of faith, literally.

Update

In one way I would agree that it is wrong to force a temple or anything to do something specific with their money.

But there is one thing governments can do to steal our money: make us pay tax.

I believe temples are, for the most part, not taxed, but they should be. The new NGO norms dictate that NGOs should spend 85% of the money they collect (outside of a restrained corpus collection measure), or they are taxed on the difference. Temples and mosques and churches should be taxed similarly.

And since the tax can only be paid in rupees, temples that receive most of their donations in gold will have to sell the gold to pay up.

However the main point is that temples hoard gold for the same reason that the rest of us do: To avoid the tax we pay due to inflation; The only real long term way to make gold unattractive is to have sustained periods of very very low inflation, which means keeping the money supply cramped.

  • Santhanam says:

    // temple in Kerala //
    Deepak,
    I think you are mentioning Padmanabha Temple in Thiruvanthapuram. That temple belongs to a trust (managed by former travancoor maharaja) and not Government. Also most of the jewels are antique whose worth is priceless.
    Only recent Gold offering’s should be sold as mentioned by you. If antique temple jewels were to be sold, then we have to get ready for another mother of all scams!
    🙂
    Cheers

  • Vince says:

    Don’t think any political party has the cahones to alienate a god-fearing vote-bank.. After all, He deserves the best. Gold, diamonds, milk, fruits, etc., while thousands of children starve all over India..

  • IsItPossible says:

    Nice article rather a very noble thought BUT… only in our dreams….

  • DPM says:

    with all respect to you, i think you need to read history. Religion is the only thing which lasts 1000s of years.So do not question the facts of hinduism by reading western centric authors. No currency has lasted 500 yrs. but gold does last.So explain why they need to convert it into fiat from gold.

    • DJ says:

      Firstly, explain why a temple needs gold? Now, on your point about fiat money vs gold I agree with. However, I do not agree with this attitude of don’t question blah blah. Make the argument on merit (which can be done in this case as I agree with you on fiat vs gold), but not on this blind faith business. And, how is it relevant if religion exists for 1000s of years or not? There were many faiths that have and will cease to exist and in the least, they certainly change a great deal in form.

      • DPM says:

        hi,
        You have right to your opinion but not to your facts. If you accept the Gold vs Fiat fact, then you have to accept the 1000s year history of religion . Time is a dimension. You cannot ignore time. My question of time is 100% valid. Some people think in term of decades some in terms of centuries. You cannot question anybody why he thinks of centuries as he is not going to live for centuries , therefore he has to limit his thought in terms of decades. He may be thinking about his future generations.
        Now , the question is why do temples need gold. They need some wealth. Any form is acceptable as a sacrifice of wealth.If you say non profit institution do not need wealth at all then give me an example. Every Non profit institution deals wealth, otherwise institution cannot survive . No temple asks people to bring 100kg gold and dump there . Temples are not tax authorities who demand gold. These are easy targets to collect wealth to reduce the problem of the govt which is always anti hindu. Why do temples need wealth. It can be answered if somebody wants to know. It is something like why do they need temple building. They can operate without that building.
        Govts always target temples who have no big legal representatives.. You read the Greek history . Greek govt targeted their own temples as well.Read Roman history as well. But, Hindus kings never targeted their own temples.A little bit of Google search will also help. Muslims targeted Indian temples as well to plunder wealth as a easy target. Nobody has any idea how much gold Highly rich indians using their black money, as they are out of reach of the govt or inside the govt. A little bit of google search will help you if you want to know the answers else I am there. I would like to know your source of inspiration for the article.
        Third thing, is gold important at all. Why the hell RBI bought GOLD from IMF? RBI bought Gold using tax payers money. Why the hell RBI asks you to deposit Gold if you want to open an insurance business? Why the hell govt needs to tell an individual what he/she buy. Whether India is a communist country?Govt will decide what we buy and what we sell. RBI says it is nonsense when people buy GOLD but it is sense when they buy it. There is much larger story behind it . Watch when the Gold falls in the 2nd half of this month.
        I hope that I have raised some questions which will help you.

        • DJ says:

          Well, I’m not sure what you mean by your first statement. I was merely interested in dissociating the arguments in favor of gold from hinduism (while not being critical of either). You did that here and thereby confirmed my point about dissociation. So, its cool.
          But, its still not clear to me why temples need gold. To be fair, its not their fault if people come and dump gold there. Its extremely hilarious that people like to offer gold to God. Someone said that temples used their wealth in times of distress, but that isn’t as true anymore. Temples are not the power centers they were and they are unlikely to be so.
          And, no its not the same as why temples need buildings. There is a practical reason for having a place of worship. But, I’m absolutely convinced that there are huge scandals in the operations of at least some of these temple trusts. When the Sai baba died recently, there was a power struggle to control the assets of the trust and there are lots of open questions posed by people who left the trust. I wonder what can be done to make things transparent there.
          I’m not in favor of govt interference and control either, so its an open question. And, if status quo is the best solution, so be it. Certainly its wrong to confiscate private wealth. I wouldn’t be in favor of that for sure.

    • Religion, like currency, changes over time. Currency has lasted as long or longer than religion – it used to be gold, or salt or whatever, earlier.

      • DPM says:

        Hinduism has not changed . It is the first and oldest religion. Gold is the only currency that has not changed and still accepted as currency by Hindus, therefore Hindus are largest buyer. They have stood as a constant against time. Everything else gets accepted and rejected and changes form.

        • Hinduism has changed forever – what was called Hinduism was different 30 yrs ago, 100 yrs, 500 yrs ago etc.

        • DPM says:

          Your response is vague regarding change. The Vedas are still the same. The Gods are still the same. The huge temples of Padmanabhaswamy, Jagannnath , tirupati , Meenakshi are still same. What has changed? The way they are worshipped is still same. The hindu marriage uses the same Mantras. I do not know what do you mean by hinduism.

        • This is off topic, but 1000 years back a lot of the mantras, the rituals, even whatever was actually worshipped were different. Things have evolved. So has currency.
          And it doesn’t matter that religion has lasted, much of it has gone away (caste system, sati, even dowry in many places, sacrifices etc) and what remains is some things which also have changed over years. Currencies are the same.

        • XYZ says:

          Hinduism (and most religions) have not changed much. They have evolved to add new schools of thought but you can still subscribe to the oldest versions if necessary. The Vedas are still the same. The Upanishads are still the same. The Puranas too. The Gayathri Mantra is the same (and remarkably used in the same way in far away Bali, which seems to follow a much older version of Hinduism). The same could be said about the Bible and other religious books.
          I am not very religious but it’s the only solace in this country for most people. Otherwise, people in this country would be sparking an “Arab Spring” every year. I am amazed at the patience of the people of our country. I think a lot of it comes from religion.
          At risk of being called biased but from a purely business/political/social perspective, I will say that it’s all the more important for Hindu temples to retain wealth because they are in competition again other religions that have financing sources in much wealthier countries. Hindu temples are stuck with living in a poor country.

  • Deepak says:

    trying to solve the gold obsession is solving the wrong problem….buying gold is much like buying real estate….its a portfolio allocation problem solved by people who believe in it….the way to go is to solve the mis selling in financial instruments, insider trading, getting crooks of promoters out of our system and such more fundamental changes and while at it getting some governance into our daily lives …….stop obsessing with trying to cut gold consumption or finding new sources to feed people….you are aiming at local optima….

  • Kishor Gurtu says:

    “Why does a temple need gold?”. For that matter, why does ANYONE need gold?

  • Mohit Satyanand says:

    Deepak,
    Luckily, the government does not (yet) have the right to expropriate wealth,whether held by individuals, trust or societies.
    If they prefer to hold gold over rupees, or land over bonds, that is an individual decision – whether rational or not, who is to say? And are we not all guilty of taking irrational decisions in our lives?

    • Good point, Mohit. And in that sense it would really be expropriation of private wealth. Inflation through printing and taxes like wealth tax are others. Come to think of it, I’m against all the others, so I should be against this too!

      • Mohit Satyanand says:

        Deepak,
        Thanks for being so open to my thoughts.
        Mohit

        • Anytime 🙂
          Eventually the freedom to own property is suspect in our country anyhow. They claim it and give “compensation” when it’s land, or put taxes on your owning it in one form or transferring it to another.
          I’m not fond of temples hoarding gold, but then I’m not fond of people going nuts about gold either. However it would be wrong, I admit, to forcibly take money away from what you don’t own. (Though, isn’t the government the owner of some or all temples?)
          Even then, an incentive to farm out the gold might be useful. Temples, for example, could be taxed just like other citizens. Then, they’d have to convert some of that gold to fiat currency because the government doesn’t accept gold as taxes. How would that be?

        • Mohit Satyanand says:

          Government doesn’t own temples, except in that ASI controls some antique ones.
          Temples are mostly controlled by trusts and societies, which are no more government bodies than are companies – all categories of bodies covered by regulators, the Registrar of Companies, the Registrar of Societies, etc.
          As regards taxation, well, as far as I am concerned, the less the better. In general, I would say charitable organisations spend money better and more efficiently than government (think schools or dispensaries run by trusts vs those run by govt.), so even at the pragmatic level, what purpose is served by shifting money from trusts to the government?

        • If the fact is that of the wealth that lies in societies and trusts is not spent on these things, and I believe trusts as a whole spend far lesser than they collect, and while I don’t know how much as yet, I believe its in the single digit percentages. So in that sense if we had to incentivize them for spending on something, then they should spend it or pay taxes on it. The US has an interesting system where a trust is taxed if it spends less than 5% of your total corpus every year and some 10% of the total collections; this is not a bad thing for us to emulate.

        • Mohit Satyanand says:

          Indian NGOs have been put in the same situation now – they have to spend 85% of what they receive in a year, unless the amounts are designated as corpus funding.

        • Wow. So I’d say include temples in that list 🙂

  • Divyanand M S says:

    Q: Why temples hoard gold?
    A: To help out people in times of distress. Earlier, king of the land could employ the gold in the temple to finance his endeavours. Also in times of famine & natural disasters, he could sell that gold and help his people.
    This is may not be relevant in modern age. BTW, temples got this gold free of cost, by way of donations.
    Disclaimer: Temple here refers to place of worship of all faiths.

  • Dushi says:

    for that matter we can sell buppy lehary’s gold first.
    this will bridge our deficit of almost 10 yrs … ha ha ha

  • Manickkam says:

    Nice thought. There are quite a lot of good-looking initiatives that need support from all the people and government. Some of them made it to public’s notice and still couldn’t achieve what it was intended for.
    Law against Corruption – got public notice but still in progress!
    Real estate Regulation – just got attention but will take years to apply.
    This thought stands at the very much pre-initial stage which may need decades to attain public attention. After that to apply and initiate the process, it may take forever.

  • MURTY says:

    Deepak,
    Without any doubt, all financial problems will be solved. Period. for a period. Say, you take out all gold out of the temples, you sell it, convert it into Currency. Cash flow problems are solved, at least for a 70Cr population , if you spread the currency among them. Then who will buy this Gold? a few individuals? Foriegners? Then you are creating demand for the product again, in this country. then the GOLD Producers will thrive.
    I do not believe your way of thinking works!
    it is like PSU investment first, and then DISINVESTMENT later, as one DPM points out above, RBI buys Gold, RBI buys Dollars, then the RBI asks the public not to buy them! Thank God, it didn’t thought of buying essential commodities!

    • Oh, the idea isn’t to solve cash flow. The idea is to handle the demand for gold internally by reusing gold that some entities (temples) hoard, and to pay full price for it.
      Demand can only be solved by cutting inflation to zero over years…

      • DPM says:

        People are solving their future cash flow problems by buying Gold which are created by government by constant depreciation of currency. Govt does not care about cash flow of the people worldwide. Everywhere competitive depreciation of currency is going on. People need to do something to make a hedge. Temples are easy targets.

  • MURTY says:

    Let us assume a few individuals bought this TEMPLE GOLD! You now create more GODS! Remember a few months back, a wealthy mining Baron’s GOLD was un-earthed! He thought of himself as the re-incarnation of the Srikrishnadevaraya!
    Now there will be GODS all over again, and India becomes GODS OWN COUNTRY! Forget about Kerala!
    Then the future FM would bring in an Ordinace, from here on, there would be only one GOD per CITY, and those who posses less than 10Tonnes of gold are not to be treated as ONE! Then the rest would try to buy and reach the target! There would be hecting lobbying , for reducing the limit, and there will be rasta roko’s, hartals, ……Mamata Benarjee would threaten the Governement to de-stabilize the Center……Mean while, the smuggling of GOLD would continue………………..

  • H Manatee says:

    Asking temples to exchange gold for toilet paper especially when our dear politicians have buggered up the monetary system?
    Let them take all the recently printed fictional rupees out of circulation, and the problem of gold will go away with no additional measure. Nobody asked the government to create asset bubbles in the economy. Government can not have it both ways -one way stealing the purchasing power and on the other hand asking people not to buy gold. Just who do these clowns really think they are?

  • Gourishankar says:

    Why should one give up gold holding for a fiat currency which keeps on depreciating. The gold holding has served the holders over a long period of time. Think about it. Gold is in itself a currency. Indians buying gold may be a sign of mistrust in the Rupee. If the Rupee did not loose value with respect to gold why would any one buy gold. It is a point to ponder about. Temples and religion has to last thousands of years, will the rupee keep its value for so long? Doubt it very much by the way we keep debasing the currency.

  • mahesh says:

    My 2 cents: Its not gold, it’s the government. People, temple ,companies etc… are losing belief that rupee is worth anything. Gold seems to be the form that Indians ( majority going by effects it has caused) believe will store the value. Its the belief. Change the belief.

  • Ravi Shankar says:

    Disagree completely! Why would anyone want to sell something of value for some pretty pieces of paper. Fiat currency is worth nothing other than the (illusion of) value we believe it has.This is a high confidence prediction like Marc Faber says 🙂 ! All fiat currencies will go to their intrinsic value which is Zero “0”.(unless of-course they get tied to gold/sliver/etc) By giving more value to the rupee you only facilitate, our own surreptitious money printer the RBI to print even more and subsidize the government to borrow ad nausea m. of-course subsidized in turn by the honest saver from whom the wealth is stolen. As I say, if you put on the relative lens and look at wealth, it is purely a relative phenomenon, that is, wealth neither gets created or destroyed it just gets transferred from one party to another.

  • Srikanth says:

    I’m second to none in my contempt for the current monetary and fiscal policies in India. But you have to look at why temples hoard gold with some basic assumptions. First of all, assume the people managing these trusts are not idiots. Irrespective of how pious they are or not, they are rationally maximizing the self interests of the temples.
    Ask yourself, what is the mission of a temple, and what is the timeframe that a temple plans for. I would say that the mission is to serve God in the most visually grand manner that devotees care to see, and the timeframe is eternity.
    In other words, the goal of temple trustees is to maintain an eye-poppingly grand edifice, decoration, ceremonies and overall religious experience for devotees. Devotees want something out of the ordinary as well, so that their pilgrimage feels worthwhile. If all that the devotees wanted was a personal God, they could do that in their minds. They actually want and demand the communal, shared experience they all feel and enjoy together.
    To ensure such an experience can be funded in eternity, temple boards optimize their capital preservation over and beyond any potential for growth. At the same time, temples do invest in layers of cultural institutions to build up their influence. Whether it’s the TTD Board, the Lingayat communities (KLES), or the Vokkaligas (SJCE, JCE et al) – all of them do invest a portion of their corpus in such social consumption as well. It’s just that when they start seeing diminishing returns they keep the rest of their corpus in the one currency which can’t be manipulated/legislated away by the latest crop of theives that rule us.

  • PrAvEen says:

    My two cents 🙂
    Why Temples had to hoard Gold????
    The answer lies in your question only. If temples had hoarded some other thing (currency, land or also salt 🙂 ) you wouldn’t write this blogpost now 🙂
    May be temples were given all forms of donaitons 1000 years ago., Currecy, Land & Gold. Currency lost it’s value., land was either encroached or non-traceable., & only thing left is GOLD & you advice to sell it 🙂

  • HK says:

    Best comment praveen :-).
    Deepak,
    What is wrong if india imports more gold? sky is not going to fall :-). I don’t think like a normal analyst. Gold is an asset and store of value NOT expense like say raw material crude so if Gold increases CAD I will say CAD is misleading. When you buy a capital asset (land, House etc) do you debit it to company’s P & L account? Or you capitalize and take it to Asset side of Balance Sheet?
    Over last 40 years since bretton woods Gold has been top performing asset class in India – compounding of 13% p.a. In this scenario why a temple should be given paper?

    • Good point about Gold being a capital asset. But then our CAD is like a mega mix of all the payment pieces, whether they go in the capital or current account, and we have to use international definitions (I think).

  • DPM says:

    Deepak,
    Now you can use your own judgement and edit the post if you have learnt something new.

    • Well, no, I don’t agree with most commenters here. Temples, according to me, should be taxed on the gold they receive, just like any other NGO that doesn’t spend the money they collect. While my comment was to convert their gold and give them rupees, now perhaps I would say tax that gold at 30% of the price, and then the temples will HAVE to sell the gold to raise the rupees and pay the tax.
      I think the one thing that is different is that I don’t think we should force temples to do anything; but they should pay taxes like everyone else. In the process, India will get gold in the market, and that’s what I believe is good.
      This blog is not a democracy – if you want a vote, you’ll have to write your own 🙂

      • Sachin says:

        How will you tax something which do not exist (no capital gain without sell side) ?
        Moreover in equities tax is applied only on capital gains and in temple’s case trustees will never ever sell gold. So getting tax money is out of picture. You cannot have double standards one for equity portfolio and other for temples portfolio.
        And as per your pure market force theory, every individual including temples have right to do whatever with their wealth.
        And most important if we allow govt to tax temples for excess gold then you know these morons can go to any limit. They will then put excess limit to 10 grams and will tax each and every individual of this country to extract tax money to fund some “bullshit gandhi scheme”.

        • Sachin says:

          Also then govt will then put some weird taxation system in the name of secularism that temples in Gujarat will be taxed 30% and other places at 25% and muslim worship will be taxed 20% and churches will be taxed 0%. I will be happy with any worship org hoarding gold than govt taxing them.

        • There is no capital gain – but the asset (gold) was not purchased, it was donated (gifted). Any gift from an unrelated party is taxable. Temples should pay tax like any other NGO which has to pay tax on donations if the donated money is not spent in the same year.

  • DPM says:

    Temples do not belong to individuals or profit centers. So, you cannot tax them.Idea of taxing is silly.Govt tooks the Land of temples from 1947. No temple still sold Land. Even if you Tax them temples will never sell as they do not need cash/profit from Gold.
    I do not think you are aligned to the basic beliefs in democracy. Otherwise, you could not have written about 30% tax or targeting easy targets. This only happens wherever communists go. eg. Russia , China where people do not have right to Wealth. This also happens in oligarchy/fascism as well. You are far from democratic ideas.
    I do not want any vote , just wanted to make you learn some basics, being charitable with knowledge. But, your Arrogance towards exploration and acceptance of Truth has Convinced me to bid this blog Goodbye Forever.
    I hope you will post this comment.

    • ARP says:

      @DPM.
      Temples are charitable organisations – not profit centers. You must differentiate between religion and temple administration. These are two different things.
      Consider the website of the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai – one of the richest temples. The site offers purchasing of coins, eSeva, NRI bookings etc.
      If you go through the financial statement (FY 2011), you will notice that the trust conducted charitable activities and donations costing Rs 7 crore, whereas they have fixed deposits, mutual funds and bonds in the bank worth Rs 140 crore, and gold and silver worth Rs 35 crore.
      So the trust does not even use the interest on their deposits for charitable purposes, let alone using the revenues and donations diligently.
      The track record of temples as compared to charitable hospitals is disappointing. Interestingly, the government taxes charitable hospitals through service tax and various other taxes as applicable – but these taxes are not applicable to temples.

  • XYZ says:

    This is a very disappointing post from you. Especially after your brilliant post regarding the RBI’s stealth QE that has been diluting the rupee for decades. In fact, I have been telling this factoid to anyone I meet ever since. And then you come up with this.
    I have never invested in gold. It shows that I am not a good investor (and the fact that I am not wealthy). About a decade ago, I used to tell everyone that gold was useless. But that has changed but most importantly, I have realized why Indians invest in gold. They do not and cannot trust the ruling class. They cannot even trust the society around themselves. This is a society where people are ready to scam each other at the drop of a hat.
    Converting gold into investments would be good but will that happen in India? “That temple in Kerala” was able to retain so much wealth only because it was under private control and thus able to hide its wealth from the British colonizers and now the kleptocrats in the new India. There was a similar temple covered with gold in Kerala that had fallen into the hands of the government. Now it looks like an archaeological site. The temple was completely looted while it was under the control of government in democratic independent India.
    It shows that Indians are not capable of investing in their society. The people do not trust each other enough. It needs to mature a lot and become a cohesive society before it can invest in capabilities like Japan or Germany (while China is still not mature). Till as that time comes, we will have to accept the lesser tragedy of our attempts to protect ourselves by taking the seemingly least risky and very much passive move of investing in gold.
    PS: A recent report to the committee set up the Supreme Court has recommended that the temple continue to be under the royal family. Nobody trusts any government entity in India. The idea that India would invest this wealth is laughable.

  • XYZ says:

    I’ll add that I have no intention of investing in gold out of my laziness, my lack of understanding of commodities and simply out of principles. I have been against buying gold as it’s not good for our country. Our gold-buying is the sign of our lack of social cohesion and trust in each other and especially our ruling class. It’s a sign of our collective immaturity.
    But India has also taught me the value of liberty and letting people survive if they are faced with kleptomaniacs at every turn in life like we do in India. I would never advocate stealing of everything. Our government is already doing it in every facet of life whether it is stealing of our wealth, freedom, values or anything else. You name it and they have law for getting a cut. But the same political parties are fighting the extension of the RTI Act to themselves. I wouldn’t have minded appropriation of wealth if our government (and society as a whole) invested that wealth in a good way (like the Chinese doing now or the Japanese did so well). But our successive governments have shown themselves to be completely incompetent.

  • H Manatee says:

    Deepak
    Reading your recent comments I see a U-turn in your view. You started the article with the view of gold being the enemy of the state (due to CAD issues I think) and targeted the temple gold (by the way I don’t give a damn about temples or religion or the pixies from the sky but I am appalled you are wearing the garb of the emperor Nero during the last days of the Roman empire. Even he did the same foolish thing to loot the temples in order to fulfill his wayward ambitions). But the point here is that government should target itself for its reckless policies of the last decade which has created this mess. So why gold is being the whipping boy here? Gold is the canary in the coal mine whenever there is a cock-up in the fiat world. Don’t shoot the messenger.
    People have the the right to buy what they want. People subconsciously simply do not trust in the Rupee anymore hence they are resorting to gold.This act is sending a SOS to the government but they are being too stubborn to take the message.

    • Note: I wanted to solve the problem of having to import gold when there was enough unused. I didn’t mean to sequester the gold and take it away – the money from the auction would go to the temple not the government.

      • H Manatee says:

        Then we are back at square one with this argument. Like I said in my first post, why would temples want to hold the toilet paper in exchange for gold. Government has found itself in a quandary. UPA deserves to be booted out.
        Hoover up the ponzi rupees of the recent years and the problem will go away in no time. Goldwill correct itself ad people will start hoarding rupees then.
        Common man did not ask for this extravagance funded from the money borrowed from the future, leaving the tab for our children. I look forward to the day all these Keynesians are hung by the lamp posts for the misery they have caused to this beautiful world through their unfounded social experiments when history has repeatedly taught us not to debauch the currency. One simply can not live beyond his means. Nobody is entitled to luxury paid for by somebody else’s money. People should look after themselves. As Thatcher rightly said Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money.

  • anon.coder says:

    From today’s BS::
    Along with cash, gold and real estate are the new modes of payment.
    A particular company which struck a deal with an IAS officer staged a temple darshan for the bureaucrat’s wife. When she visited the temple, the priest handed her some gold bars

  • Murty says:

    My GOD! Deepak, did you noticed the tremendous response to this topic? I think no other topic of finance could gather such a heat!
    You may be right or wrong, XYZ may be a thinker, DPM was deeply hurt and left the BLOG(I KNOW HE IS CLOSELY WATCHING),
    But it is a great HIT buddy!
    The best way to incite people is to touch upon a part of the religion!
    Thank God, you have not opted to touch upon the “TREASURES” of other religion! You would have been ……you know….. literally……………….

    • DPM says:

      Dear Murty,
      I was not hurt. I was trying to tell the Author something what is Truth. I did it as a reader who has read him for sometime. So, thought of educating him. If Deepak would not have replied to my first comment I would not have replied either. It is not my First comment on his blog.My other comments on this blog were also about educating everyone. But, sometime some people deny to learn. You can do many things to draw easy attention religion, politics , put some cheesy pic etc. But, if this blog is being written for commercial adWords revenue then I have Helped the author unintentionally.

  • Murty says:

    Good one indeed!
    If The eternity of the asset does not give liquidity to buy any other commodity, it is sheer stupidity!
    Yaksha: O Dharmaja, what is the most wonderful thing on earth?
    Yudhishtira: Day after day, countless creatures die, but those who remain , believe themselves to be immortal! This is the most wonderful thing I find!
    Eternal?

    • Srikanth says:

      I see. So, if a time traveler from 2000 years comes to this day, which form of currency do you think he will recognize? A “500 rupee” paper note with some bald, grinning, old man, or a piece of gold whose weight can be determined? And which one would he prefer to exchange anything for?
      Yes, in the long run we are all dead. The only person who thinks therefore that the long run doesn’t matter is someone who has neither any respect for his patrimony/inheritance nor any expectation that he will have successors.
      For all the rest of us, who see our lives as one link in the long arc of time, gold is one trustworthy medium in which we can inherit value from the past, and also leave it for the future. When mankind leaves a cooling Earth to colonize other planets, Gold will be a favoured currency with which to buy tickets on the spaceship. I guess for those who will keep your trust in Rupees, it’ll come in handy as kindling to start a fire.

      • Murty says:

        I agree to disagree with you my friend!
        My favourite movies are Mackennas’ Gold and The Wall Street! Each has taught me some traditional as well as modern thoughts!
        If some of us thought GOLD is THE Currency, or someone the 500 BILL, let us not take sides. No one is saying the LONG RUN DOESN’t Matter. The intention is to unlock the potential of GOLD, no doubt, Mr.Deepak is unearthing mountains of the Commodity that lies in each of our hearts!
        Thanks Deepak once again!
        Persons like DPM can enlighten people on the hoarding mentality! Dear DPM, learning is so easy. It is the un-learning that is difficult! See what we are doing now! Some discussion on patrimoney/inheritence! I believe majoirty of us either live in past or future, but not in the present! Our brought up was like that!

      • Rohan Choukkar says:

        In a different place, I would say the same about cowrie shells.
        As a materials engineer, people’s obsession with this metal, of arguably very limited practical use, never ceases to astound. Only slightly less astounding than people’s obsession with other, even more useless, shiny objects

        • Platinum For The Win! Cowrie shells are good. I would even say Single malts. Not good metal, but when they don’t make you money, at least you can drink them in sorrow.

  • Umesh Pandit says:

    Hi All,
    Its right that the Gold collected by temples should be Taxed… if these types of taxes comes the common people and poor people issue in price hike can be resolved, no one will sleep in pain and hunger in India.
    I do support Deepak Shenoy for this post! 🙂
    Keep going!
    Thanks
    Umesh Pandit

  • Murty says:

    Mr.Rackgen posted a Chart for China Purchase of Gold from HongKong, and says only the Hindus are buying GOLD! See the lick attached by him

  • rackgen says:

    Oh, why don’t we sell people or their body parts to foreign country too? We have too many of them as well? And go ahead and stand in the line as first, mate.

  • SR says:

    Deepak: i hope some of what you write about comes to pass.
    This matter has acquired religious angles – which are not intended.
    Just to balance it out: give a shout out to mosques, churches, synagogues, gurudwaras and just about anybody who owns the metal and does not need it to live off.
    And perhaps one should poke the RBI as well – to be politically correct, in its next press release!
    Reverse psychology in action: would be that the BJP would push this agenda and get away with it, only because the UPA s$#@*&d things up so badly.

  • anon says:

    Mr. Shenoy:
    We are a democracy, with a distinct separation of religion and state. Whether you or others believe in Hinduism or not, you do not have a right to the gold. It’s not yours or India’s. It was granted by the people to the temples. you are advocating stealing.
    Would you advocate stealing from the Vatican or taxing the madrassas, that receive billions from the middle-east.
    shame on you for advocating robbery. If you want to help India’s poor, there is plenty of money in India. Go after the politicians and their swiss bank accounts. But of course, it’s safer to go after the Hindu gods.

    • The government has a right to tax gold receipts as income. They do that for anyone else, and they can do that for temples. and btw, I don’t care if it’s temples, churches, the Vatican or Madrassas – they are all the same to me. I am not religious.

  • Anand says:

    They may all be same to you, Well things to loot, for us they are offerings made to almighty, So economic goons better keep your hands off from our sacred places. Thay are not national property, India is not a Hindu state anyway. Any attempt to touch those means nothing but robbery.

    • Pay your taxes, temples, churches and what not. Do what you want with your post tax income. Tax is not robbery.

    • Sachin says:

      did you guys lost your mind ?
      Mr Anand, India is not hindu state anyway ? Whats the context of this here ? This blog is on economics/finance teaching and not on religious teaching.. so stick to finance or just leave…
      Same to Mr Anon — “Would you advocate stealing from the Vatican or taxing the madrassas”. Its very clear from this article and comments that the gold taxing rule applies to all irrespective of religion. So please don’t dig same hole again and again.

  • kk vsp says:

    Spirituality has been diluted in this great nation over the few 100s of years. Spirituality vs materialistic things is ahuge debate. Spiritual centers of any religion only needs human participation, practice and faith in its fundamental ordains. A
    wealth, property, gold, objects of value all these are immaterial before the supreme, as all these things are from mature itself. Hence, gold or money may nt be donated or holded by such institutions.