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The Somnath temple in Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval, Saurasthra in the western Indian state of Gujarat February 1, 2014.Reuters file

The gold monetisation scheme (GMS) got a fillip on Saturday when the trust managing the Somnath Temple decided to deposit 6 kg gold under the scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last November. With this, the total amount of gold collected under the GMS will go up to 2,826 kg from nine temples.

The decision to deposit gold under the scheme was taken at a meeting of the Somnath Trust held in New Delhi and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha member L K Advani, BJP president Amit Shah and others. The information was conveyed in a tweet by Modi.

The Board of Trustees of the temple met at the official residence of Modi on Saturday to discuss several issues. Shah was appointed as one of the trustees in January this year. The meeting was chaired by Advani in the absence of Trust chairman Keshubhai Patel, who was reportedly not well. 

Modi wanted efforts to be made to develop the Somnath temple and project the area as a tourist destination, besides having "high-tech marine attractions and virtual reality shows" as part of a revamp of the area, according to an official statement. 

In May this year, Jayant Sinha, the then minister of state for finance, had said in a written reply to Parliament that eight temples had deposited 2,820 kg gold under the GMS. Two temples were from Maharashtra, one each from Andhra Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir and four from Tamil Nadu, according to the Economic Times.

The Tirupati temple deposited 1,311 kg gold under the scheme with state-run Punjab National Bank in April this year. The deposit was for three years, categorised as "short-term" (1 to 3 years) that enables depositors to redeem their deposit in gold.