As some temples have not performed an audit for 10 to 15 years, the state government has asked all temples in categories A and B to submit pending audits by January 30 or face prosecution. .
The Endowments Department controls 34,563 temples. Among them, 207 belong to category A (with an annual income of a minimum of Rs 25 lakh) and 139 to category B (annual gain between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 24.99 lakh). Of these, the 34,217 temples with an annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh are not required to conduct audits.
After a meeting of department leaders on November 16, the government discovered that only four – the Banashankari temple in Bengaluru; the Ghati Subramanya temple; the Chamundeshwari temple in Mysuru; and Yediyur Siddalingeshwara Temple, all of Category A, submitted audit reports.
The Office of Endowment Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri issued an order on November 23, directing all executives to conduct and submit pending audits by January 30 and answer questions on income and asset management. of the respective temples.
Failing that, action would be taken against the officers in accordance with the Karnataka Civil Service (Conduct) Rules and the Endowment Law. In cases where temples are found to have suffered loss of income due to the laxity of the officers, said loss amount will be recovered from the respective officers ”, indicates the order.
Appeals to Rohini have gone unanswered. Endowment Minister Shashikala Jolle said there needs to be transparency as these temples collectively earn hundreds of crore each year.
“These temples receive donations of lakhs from worshipers – both in kind (jewelry, gold, etc.) It is shocking (that many temples have not verified the accounts),” she said, adding that the government was prepared to allow more time to verify accounts in serious cases.
A calculation on the back of the envelope of the lowest amount that these temples collectively collect each year gives a figure of Rs 59 crore. However, department officials said that only one of the top grade A temples earns more than that.