The government has increased the salaries of the priests at Ayodhya’s Ram temple a few months before it is completed and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Champat Rai, general secretary of the Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has said that now the chief priest of the temple will get a fixed monthly salary of Rs 32,900. Earlier, the chief priest used to receive Rs 25,000.
A dozen assistant priests at the temple will draw Rs 31,900 per month. The pay was Rs 20,000 before. The salary of the temple workers has been increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.
“The decision was long due. There is happiness all over that the temple is coming up and so we decided to increase the salary of the temple members also,” Rai said.
Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the temple, said: “We appreciate the gesture of the trust and the government. Although the temple is being constructed under the supervision of a trust of the central government, we thank all those involved in the process, including the state government. The temple staff deserve a better life.”
The Uttar Pradesh government had decided last week to pay salary and other benefits to every priest of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi on a par with the pay of an intermediate teacher in the state board’s schools.
The other employees, including part-time priests and caretakers, are to be regularised.
Observers said the decision of the government would help the ruling BJP woo the Brahmins in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Prime Minister is expected to inaugurate the newly built Ram temple on January 24.