Thursday, 07 July 2016 08:59

Central Bank will 'fully' cooperate with Parliamentary probe on bond issue, new Governor says

Sri Lanka's Central Bank will fully cooperate with the Parliamentary probe on the tainted Treasury bond issue and await its finding, newly-appointed Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy told reporters on Tuesday.

Responding to questions, Dr. Coomaraswamy said an internal inquiry was not warranted as the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) was a high powered body. The new Governor was meeting the media for the first time after being appointed to the post by President Maithripala Sirisena at the weekend.
During former Governor Arjuna Mahendran's tumulteous 17-month tenure, the bank was reluctant to release information to the Auditor General on bond issues saying these trades were 'too sensitive' for public dissemination, triggering a row between COPE, the AG and the Central Bank.
But the new Governor said he would abide by the findings of COPE on bond issues in which Mahendran is accused of 'fixing' in favour of his son-in-law's firm, Perpetual Treasuries, a charge the former Governor has strenuously denied..
Dr. Coomaraswamy, an accomplished economist with impecable credentials for the job with the only black mark being serving as a one-time advisor to jailed Sri Lankan-born bond trader Raj Rajaratnam in the US, told reporters that he would uphold the honour and integrity of the Central Bank in the discharge of his duties.
He said Sri Lanka has a great chance to develop having missed many opportunities in the past decades, partly due to the conflict. He said the country needs to leapfrog its development path with the use of modern technology.
Responding to a question from the Business Times, the new Governor said under consideration is for departments dealing with the Employees Providend Fund, Staff Training and Public Debt to move out and allow the bank to focus on its core functions. "These are still under consideration," he added. (Bandula)

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