The Shirdi Saibaba temple received Rs 1,009 crore cash collections from its devotees in the past four years, said a document tabled in the state assembly by the state law and judiciary department. On the other hand the Siddhivinayak temple earned Rs 206 crore. The two religious trusts are the richest in Maharashtra. While Shirdi spent 50 percent of its earnings on charity, Siddhivinayak temple spent 13 percent in the same period, reported Nitin Yeshwantrao for TNN.
Rs 540.49 crore of cash collection was spent on charity by the Shirdi temple, managed by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, while the Siddhivinayak shrine in Mumbai spent Rs 27.02 crore.
It was noted that at the Shirdi temple, cash received from devotees increased from Rs 196.66 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 298.39 crore in just 8 months from April to November last year, which accounts for a 51 percent increase. The average annual income of the Shirdi trust for the same period was more than Rs 252 crore while the average financial assistance provided by it was Rs 135 crore, said a politician known to the trust. As per audit statements of the Sansthan, by the end of 2012 close to Rs 150 crore of its money was deposited in nationalized banks, besides Rs 50 crore worth of jewellery received from devotees.