Udupi : Sode Vadiraj Mutt seer Sri Vishwavallabha Teertha Swami said that repayment of loans and income tax work related to Shiroor Mutt was the priority.
The seer has been given additional charge of Shiroor Mutt – which happens to be the Dwandwa Mutt of Sode – since the passing away of Lakshmivara Teertha. “Identifying a successor for Shiroor Mutt is not the bigger concern at present,” the seer stated.
Boy identified : Vishwavallabha Teertha, addressing a meeting of members organised at the Mutt, said that he, along with the other Mutt officials, had identified a boy studying at the Sode Mutt as successor for the Shiroor Mutt. “He is under observation and the Sode Mutt has decided to not burden him with court and financial litigation,” he explained.
The IT Department had slapped Rs 17.34 crore as tax, which had remained unpaid during the tenure of the late Lakshmivara Teertha. “The Department had, however, agreed to reduce 80% of the tax. In spite of this, however, 20% will also prove a huge amount to be paid,” he admitted.
The IT Department has frozen the bank accounts of the Shiroor Mutt. The INOX Multiplex and the adjacent buildings in Lakshmindranagara deposit their rent every month into one of this accounts, the seer explained.
Bank loan : “There is another loan amount pending with Corporation Bank in Manipal, which runs to crores of rupees, for the construction of the building. The construction work had stopped owing to the differences of the late seer with the builders.
The seer had cleared the loan amount up to Rs 5.78 crore while his partner Jayakrishna Shetty had paid Rs 2.77 crore. Now, however, the amount to be paid has reached Rs 19.5 crore,” he said.
Negotiations : “Negotiations with the bank are on for some concession. The Shiroor Mutt had gone bankrupt and is left with only a few lakhs of rupees in its account. This will also have to be used to repay the loan amount,” he added.
“Once these complications related to loan and pending amount are cleared, only then will the matter of successor be taken up,” said the Sode seer and added, “The successor, once he takes over the reins of the Shiroor Mutt, will have to concentrate on spiritual duties and not be bothered by all these problems.”