Hyderabad: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board Wednesday said the audit reports of one of the country’s richest temples will now be done by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Up until now, the Andhra Pradesh audit department used to handle the audit reports of the famous Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala.
The move comes at a time when a petition filed by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy is pending in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The plea seeks freeing up of temples from government control, and direction to the state government to place the audit report of the TTD accounts for the past five years.
After the TTD decision Wednesday, Swamy tweeted, “My associate Satyapal Sabharwal and I had filed a PIL in Andhra HC seeking a CAG audit of Tirupati Temple funds for the last 5 years& hereafter. The CM Jagan gracefully consented. TTD Chm. Subba Reddy & Member & VHS AP leader Govind Hari piloted it thru TTD Board. Task complete!”
My associate Satyapal Sabharwal and I had filed a PIL in Andhra HC seeking a CAG audit of Tirupati Temple funds for the last 5 years& hereafter. The CM Jagan gracefully consented. TTD Chm. Subba Reddy & Member & VHS AP leader Govind Hari piloted it thru TTD Board. Task complete!
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 2, 2020
In a 202-page resolution passed by TTD chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy, the board decided to entrust the audit of TTD to CAG from 2020-2021 onwards.
Since the audit report from 2014-2015 to 2019-2020 has already been completed by the State Audit Department, the board has asked the state government to request CAG to take up a special audit of the same period and furnish its report within six months.
“The Chief Minister is of the opinion that there should be complete transparency when it comes to TTD temple. While the petition is already in court, the CM thought the audit responsibility could be handed over to CAG – as the MP requested in his petition. CM believes in corruption free governance and the board immediately agreed to it,” Subba Reddy told ThePrint.
Decision to instil faith
While delivering a lecture at Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswavidyalayam in Tirupati after CM Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power, Swamy had said that he had asked the CM to allow the CAG or an independent agency to audit the TTD.
“Former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has not done anything in this regard. Now we have a new Chief Minister. I am asking him to allow the CAG or some other independent agency to audit the accounts of Tirumala temple for the past five years and tell us what happened to the money deposited by the devotees,” he had said.
The latest resolution said the decision was taken in the spirit of criticism of the matter, and to instil faith of pilgrims and donors in the accounting and audit systems of TTD.
The board will send an affidavit to the high court intimating its decision.
The audit report usually contains comprehensive details about all the temple accounts, utilisation of funds and properties including jewellery.