Sale of TTD calendars at higher price on Amazon triggers row

Even as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) claims to have taken a giant leap in promoting its products to offshore devotees through a tie-up with online major Amazon, it is not without its share of controversy in terms of pricing.

Left party leaders have raised a hue and cry over the sale of TTD’s calendars and diaries at an unbelievably-huge price that is much above its Maximum Retail Price (MRP). “The simple calendar bearing the image of Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavathi is priced at ₹15. But, Amazon shows the same as priced at ₹299 and offers it at a discounted price of ₹149. How can anyone sell the product at a price over and above that fixed by the TTD?” questions Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) general secretary Kandharapu Murali.

The TTD diary costing a mere ₹130 is shown as a whopping ₹799 and offered at a discounted price of ₹499. “The TTD vigilance sleuths get a small-time middleman arrested for selling the laddu in the open market for an extra price of ₹10, but strangely remains mum on such a grossly unlawful practice”, Mr. Murali wondered, while demanding that the TTD divulge the terms and conditions behind the tie-up entered into with the online retailer.

Meanwhile, the TTD’s Public Relations wing clarified that the tie-up was meant to ensure hassle-free delivery of its New Year products to the devotees across the globe. “There is no compulsion to buy from Amazon, as we are selling the same in our TTD Kalyana Mandapams across the country. Those not having access to our network can buy from outside at differential prices”, a spokesperson said.

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