Work of regulatory bodies hampered by staff shortage at AG’s Dept: Thilak Karunaratne

Work of regulatory bodies hampered by staff shortage at AG’s Dept: Thilak Karunaratne

Written by Bella Dalima

06 Mar, 2015 | 8:25 pm

Thilak Karunaratne, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said the work of almost all regulatory bodies is being hampered by the shortage of staff at the Attorney General’s Department.

Speaking at this year’s National Law Conference of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Chairman of Security Exchange Commission Thilak Karunaratne stated that he was told that there are 70 vacancies in the AG’s Department.

He also noted that the other bodies also greatly hampered due to lack of staff at AG’s Department.

He stressed that the regulator must have total independence to operate independently without being subjected to pressures.

Also speaking at the event, Arjuna Mahendran, Governor of the Central Bank, noted that no matter how independent central banks are, they must conform to government policy.

He said that the experiences of many countries have shown that the Central Bank should have a degree of independence of the government proper can make economic analysis and hold views which are more detached and objective than those of a government department… on matters of vital interest to the state. However even at an absence of such formula as the British or the Australian it would be impossible for the Central Bank to adopt a policy or pursue a course of action contrary to the policy of the government of the day.

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, highlighted the importance of reviewing the investment strategy of the Employees Provident Fund.

He said; In fact the Attorney General, at the time, very specifically said when giving the authority for the provident fund to invest in the stock market; that it must avoid investing in any banks or Finance companies. But that was violated and continues to be violated.

The National Law Conference was held under the theme Sri Lanka Legal Summit 2015 – Governance, Regulation and Investment – The Way Forward.

The two day conference, concluded on Thursday.

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