The Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, which runs the temple in Jammu and Kashmir, has said that pilgrims have offered Rs 40 lakh in demonetised currency notes in the last two years, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.
Between November 9, 2016 – a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes will be scrapped – and December 9, 2016, pilgrims offered Rs 1.9 crore in banned notes. Between 2017 and 2018, devotees offered Rs 40 lakh in demonetised currency.
“There is no dip in the offerings. Rather the trend is encouraging, but yes some devotees still offer demonetised currency,” the board’s chief executive officer, Simrandeep Singh, told the Hindustan Times.
Singh said the demonetised notes will be disposed of appropriately as the Reserve Bank of India has not refused to accept them. He added that the note ban and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax system has had no impact on the cash offerings made at the cave shrine.
“From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, we had total cash offerings of Rs 154 crore and from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, we had total cash offerings of Rs 164 crore,” Singh said.
The shrine board had set up arrangements for the pilgrims to make cashless payments as donations to the temple soon after demonetisation came into effect.