Khammam: The Telangana Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Amendment Act 2007 has turned out to be a curse for Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy Temple in Bhadrachalam.
Under the Act, Lord Rama owes Rs 14.28 crore to the state government. The debt has become a burden to the temple, whose revenues are not impressive because of various reasons, including cancellation of trips to Papi Hills after a boat capsized in September last year.
According to provisions of 2007 Act, each temple or Hindu religious institution in the state must contribute certain sums to Endowments Department every year towards Endowment Administration Fund (EAF), Audit Fee (AF), Common Good Fund (CGF) and Archakas Welfare Fund (AWF).
Every temple whose annual income exceeds `50,000 should pay 12 percent of its income towards EAF under 65 (1) of the TSCHRIE (Amendment) Act 2007. The Bhadrachalam temple has to pay `8.24 crore under this section. It has to pay another 1.5 per cent totalling to `2.08 crore towards AF under section 65 (4) of the Act. In addition, `2.8 crore is due to the government under AWF as per section 161 (1) of the Act. AWF is charged at the rate of 3 per cent on temples whose annual income exceeds Rs 20 lakh. Under CGF, the dues are Rs 1.17 crore. This is to be paid by each temple with annual income more than Rs 50,000 at the rate 5 per cent CGF. In all, Bhadrachalam has to pay 21.5 per cent of its income under the four heads. Payment of around Rs 5.30 crore under these four heads has been pending from 2007-14 period. The temple had spent `80 lakh on Mukkoti and allocated another Rs 80 lakh for Sriramanavami festival.
Though the temple authorities budget for Rs 50 crore every year, Bhadrachalam temple gets revenue of only Rs 22 crore.
Authorities are thus finding it difficult to pay salaries even to its employees, leave alone incurring other expenditures. The temple administration has written a letter to the government seeking waiver of dues by the Bhadrachalam temple keeping in view its poor financial condition....