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Shrine revenue soars

Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee’s (BTMC’s) earnings through donations from tourists and devotees increased by Rs 1 crore in the financial year 2011-12.

The details of the income and expenditure of the temple were presented at the BTMC meeting held recently in Bodhgaya. The committee’s budget for 2012-13 and the projects to be undertaken in the current fiscal were also discussed during the meet.

Gaya district magistrate-cum-BTMC chairperson Bandana Preyashi presided over the meeting.

According to available data, BTMC has received donations worth Rs 5,29,29,938 in 2011-12. The amount is around Rs 1.02 crore more than the donations received during 2010-11.

The 10-day Kalchakra Puja, led by the 14th Dalai Lama, was organised in Bodhgaya from January 1 this year. More than two lakh Buddhists and other followers of the Dalai Lama arrived in the city to take part in the puja. During the prayer sessions, almost all visitors had offered donations at the world heritage Mahabodhi Mahavihara. Theses donations are being cited as the reason behind the rise in revenue.

In another major decision, the BTMC decided to revise the salary of its employees, which will be effective from April 2012.

BTMC member secretary Nangzey Dorjee, however, did not provide details of the percentage of hike in salary and said the employees are provided consolidated pay. “The salary was earlier revised in 2008-09 and after three years, we have again revised the salary in view of high cost of living,” Dorjee said.