The Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Theerth Kshetra (SRJBTK) Trust has received Rs 41 Crore as donations even before the start of the construction of Ram Mandir.
The amount quoted here was till August 4th 2020, a day before the Foundation Stone was laid at Ayodhya to construct the Ram Mandir at the site of where Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.
Babri Masjid was demolished by karsevaks from all over India who came to Ayodhya after a call was given by LK Advani, who took out a Rath yatra to campaign for the temple to be constructed at the Babri masjid site.
The donation received by the trust stood at Rs. 30 Crores when the logbook was last seen on Tuesday. Another 11 Crore Rs was donated by Morari Babu which makes it Rs 41 Crore. However, the amount does not include other donations made on Wednesday (August 05th)” said the treasurer of the trust Swami Govind Dev Giri to Times of India.
Swarajya has quoted that the Trust received donations amounting to Rs. 4.60 Crores since Lockdown was first announced by PM Narendra Modi. Besides these, people are also contributing to the construction of the temple through Online Bank Transfers after the Trust started accepting these donations as well.
According to Vishwaprasanna Teertha, of the Pejawara Mutt at Udupi who is a close ally of the Sangh Parivar and was an active mobilizer for the infamous Rath Yatra from Karnataka, the estimated cost of construction for Ram temple was Rs 300 Crore and another Rs 1000 Crore would be used for the development of surroundings for temple-related activities. He has also noted that a share of the expenditure would also be raised through Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) from Corporate houses.
The Government through the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had recently allowed tax exemptions to donations made to the trust under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act given that the temple would be a ‘place of historic importance and a place of public worship’. Hence 100% of donations would be exempted from the tax liability subject to a limit of 10% of their gross total income.
One might wonder about these donations in crores being made in the name of Ram Temple when India is witnessing the biggest economic depression for more than a year that is worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has not only caused a health crisis but an economic and humanitarian crisis that has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of Indians.