Sun, 15 Sep, 2019

Church collections plunge following demonetisation

The demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes may have changed the fate of people in India, but the exercise also has had an impact on at least one faith in the State. In port town, donations

Story: THE | GOAN | 17th November 2016, 12:00 Hrs

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TALKING POINT

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DONATION DROP: BARDEZ

* A sizeable drop in Sunday collections at various parishes

* Fewer Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes dropped in collection boxes

CALANGUTE

* Collection on Nov 13: Rs 48,400

* Previous Sunday (Nov 6): Rs 81,700

MAPUSA

* Collection on Nov 13: Rs 51,000

* Previous Sunday (Nov 6): Rs 57,000

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There has been a huge drop in collection on Sunday after the announcement of demonetisation compared to previous Sundays

- Fr Cipriano D’Silva, Calangute Parish Priest

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With people finding smaller currency notes hard to come by, donations have dropped significantly in many churches across Goa ever since the Centre announced the demonetisation of the two currency notes a week ago.

The demonetisation of currency has registered a sizeable drop in Sunday collections at various parishes in Bardez.

The desperation for change was very evident as besides the common man, hotel owners and even banks had approached church authorities for cash in lower denominations.

“There has been a huge drop in collection on Sunday after the announcement of demonetisation plan compared to previous Sundays,” said Fr Cipriano D’Silva, Parish Priest of Calangute.

“There were also fewer numbers of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 dropped in the collection boxes,” he added.

November 13 was the first Sunday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s “kadak” measure of demonetising the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on the night of November 8.

On November 13, the Sunday’s collection in Calangute church was just Rs 48,400, as compared to the collection on previous Sunday (November 6) which was Rs 81,700.

“On an average, we get Rs 70,000 collection on Sundays,” Fr D’Silva said.

The Calangute Parish Priest also revealed that people do come for change of lower denominations and the church has obliged for those in need.

“A small-time hotelier came to us and requested for change to pay salary for his staff. We obliged him. Similarly, we help those in need in whatever way possible for change,” he said.

Things were not different at Tivim Parish too with the church registering fall in its Sunday’s kitty.

“There has been tremendous drop in collection on Sunday after demonetisation compared to previous Sundays,” said Fr Joseph Correia, Assistant Parish Priest of Tivim.

The Assistant Parish Priest of Tivim got a surprise when the local bank officials rushed to the church inquiring for notes of lower denominations.

“The bank officials of Dena Bank came to us inquiring for currency notes of Rs 100 and lower denominations. We couldn’t be of much help to them, but we did help those in real need for change,” Fr Correia said.

In Mapusa church, the drop in Sunday’s collection wasn’t significant but there were a number of people who walked in asking for change of Rs 2,000 currency notes.

The collection on November 13 (Sunday) was around Rs 51,000 in Mapusa while on previous Sunday (November 6) it was Rs 57,000.

“Many people come with Rs 2,000 notes for change in lower denominations. We have obliged to people in need,” said Fr Dennis Fernandes, Parish Priest of Mapusa Church.

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come down by 50 pc

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CURRENCY CRISIS

* Collection of small parishes on Sundays used to be about Rs 10,000-15,000

* After the currency revolution, donations have dropped by almost 50 percent

* St Andrew's Church used to collect Rs 80,000-90,000 on Sundays, it has halved now

* Collections at Our Lady of Candelaria Church in Baina also down by half

* Donations now reduced to smaller currencies of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes

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DEMONETISATION MAY

HIT COLLECTIONS IN

GOA & DAMAN CHURCHES

>> See pg 8

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THE GOAN NETWORK/ VASCO

With people finding it difficult to get smaller denomination notes following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to demonetize currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, parishes in the port town have registered a significant drop in collections.

Smaller parishes used to collect about Rs 10,000-15,000 on Sundays, but the collections have dropped by almost 50%.

St Andrew's Church Vasco used to collect about Rs 80,000-90,000 as Sunday mass collection, but it has also dropped to 50 percent.

Speaking to The Goan, St Andrew’s Parish Priest Fr Gabriel Coutinho said demonetization of currency notes has adversely affected donations and Sunday mass collections.

When asked whether any one had approached the church to exchange currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 for lower denominations, Fr Coutinho said: “Except for some fishermen, who come to change smaller amount, most of the collection is used for day-to-day expenses of the church.”

When contacted, Our Lady of Candelaria Church Baina Parish Priest Fr Vital Miranda also said the Sunday mass collection had dropped to 50 percent, adding that other donations had also come down.

When asked whether he received any request to exchange smaller denominations of currency to higher denominations, Fr Miranda said: “Parishioners do not have currency in high denominations, except for few who initially exchanged a few notes of higher denominations.

“Ours is a small parish and parishioners are not so rich to seek exchange of currency notes,” said Fr Miranda.

Sources at St Andrew’s Church Vasco told The Goan that the Sunday collection at Vasco earlier used to contain Rs 100 and 500 notes, but after demonetization the collection has been reduced to smaller currencies of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes.

Similarly, a source at Our Lady of Candelaria Church Baina also added that the Sunday collection, mainly comprising Rs 100 notes, has now been replaced with Rs 10 and 50 notes, as people are reluctant to part with Rs 100 notes.

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FOR PAGE 8

Demonetisation may

hit collections in

Goa & Daman churches

THE GOAN NETWORK

PANAJI: A church official has admitted that collections in churches and chapels in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman could be impacted by the demonetisation issue, given that the Catholic community makes cash contributions for collections and other services offered by church.

“Naturally, it (demonetisation) would have an impact on church collections as people do not have money to spend for their own needs. Besides box/tray collections which are voluntary donations, people also pay for various services offered by the church and this could also be affected since people normally pay in cash,” said Fr Valerian Vaz, financial administrator in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.

Fr Vaz, however, said the impact of demonetisation would be immediately felt at the parish/chapel level, rather than at the diocesan level.

“Since these collections are largely handled at the parish/chapel level, the parishes would be in a better position to immediately quantify this impact of demonetisation when they account for the money,” said Fr Vaz.

“The archdiocese will not be able to ascertain the impact of demonetisation at this juncture as financial position of the parishes is reported to the archdiocese on a quarterly basis,” Fr Vaz added.

Church collections and contributions for various services offered by the church form a significant portion of income of parishes and the archdiocese, since maintenance of its churches and other institutions as well as remuneration to clergy and salaries to church staff are largely dependent on these contributions from the Catholic community.