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Lord Jagannath Funds: SJTA Cancels Tender With Union Bank, Invites Fresh Bids From 16 Banks

Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Tuesday cancelled its tender with Union Bank of India for depositing Rs 545 crore of Srimandir funds in the nationalised bank which had quoted an interest rate of 5.75%. The temple authorities have now issued fresh quotations from interested public sector lenders by March 26.

The SJTA today issued fresh quotation inviting 16 public sector banks to take part in the bidding process for keeping Lord Jagannath’s corpus and temple funds.

The quotation for the rate of interest is limited to 16 public sector banks which have been approved by the State finance department. Apart from the public sector banks, no other bank will be allowed to take part in the bidding process, said a circular issued by the SJTA.

The banks who will take part in the bidding process are SBI, Canada Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank and Corporation Bank, Puri.

According to the circular, the funds will be kept in the bank as fixed deposit for a period of one year from the date of investment.

The temple administration has asked the banks to submit the quotation of rate of interest in a sealed cover on or before March 26. The tender process will be finalised on the same day, the SJTA added.

The temple administration has further said that the concerned banks may attend the meeting and take part in the negotiation process.

It is worth mentioning here that the SJTA had come under fire for parking Rs 545 crore of Lord Jagannath in cash-starved Yes Bank which was placed under 30 moratorium period by the Reserve Bank of India earlier last month.

Recently, the temple authorities transferred Rs 389 crore from Yes Bank to UCO bank’s Puri branch after maturity period. It is also scheduled withdraw the remaining amount from the bank after its maturity period.

Also Read: Yes Bank Returns Rs 397 Crore Shree Jagannath Funds, Next Refund On March 30

SJTA administrator (development) Ajay Kumar Jena had said that both the Lord Jagannath Temple fund & corpus fund of the shrine will be kept in Union Bank of India as long-term FD for a period of 3 years.

The decision was made based on a tender process where UBI emerged as the top bidder promising a 5.75 per cent interest rate in comparison to Indian Bank and Canara Bank which offered 5.4 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

Also Read: After Yes Bank Crisis, SJTA Says Yes To Union Bank Of India To Park Srimandir Funds

Jena had earlier made it clear that nearly 50 per cent of the funds will be deposited in the bank which will provide high interest rate while 25 per cent each will be deposited in two other banks. This apart, Rs 100 crore of Lord Jagannath Foundation Fund will be parked in SBI.

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