Archakas, temple employees want Telangana govt to pay their entire salary

Want government to take hundi collections, pay their full salaries.

Hyderabad: Archakas and temple employees now want the state government to pay their entire salary, and take the collections from the hundis in return. The TS government fears this will impose an additional burden on the exchequer.

The TS government had recently hiked the salaries of 5,652 archakas and temple employees and began paying them from the treasury. The bill for the revised salary is Rs 100 crore a year, and the government paid '35 crore to fill the gap. The rest of the money has to come from the temple hundis.

The rule states that the salaries of archakas and employees should not exceed 35 per cent of the income of their temple. Every temple has to give 12 per cent of hundi collections to the state government towards the Common Good Fund (CGF).

TS endowment minister A. Indrakaran Reddy said the new pay scales had been implemented for 2,000 archakas and temple staff and another 1,000 archakas and temple staff would join the list this month. He said that after verification of records, the new pay scales will be given to the rest of the archakas and other temple staff.

Archakas and temple staff have asked the state government to pay their entire salary from the treasure, and take the hundi collections from the relevant temples.

Asked about this demand, a senior official said once the government paying the salaries, collections from the hundis may be hit. He suspected that the archakas and staff may not take interest in increasing hundi collections as the government is paying their salaries.

Some temples may remove the hundi, he said and cited the example of the famous Chilkur Balaji temple near Hyderabad. The government gets no contributions towards the CGF from this temple.

In some temples, the archakas may encourage devotees to give money in the harathi pallem instead of donating to the hundis, he said. This would result in greater financial burden on the government.

Mr Indrakaran Reddy said it was not possible for the government to pay the entire salary, and the archakas and temple staff would have to depend on the hundi collections.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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