Finance Ministry makes an ‘Extra-ordinary’ move

Finance Ministry makes an ‘Extra-ordinary’ move

Finance Ministry makes an ‘Extra-ordinary’ move

Written by Tharushan Fernando

27 Feb, 2017 | 6:44 am

The Finance Ministry says that an extra-ordinary gazette notice issued in January 2015 pertaining to the controversial issuing of Treasury Bonds, shows how public debt was fraudulently managed under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

The Ministry made this claim in a statement issued clarifying matters pertaining to the gazette notification in question. However, detracting opinions are already being presented on the matter.

The statement issued today says that the Finance Minister is in receipt of extra-ordinary gazette notification number 1895/19, dated the 1st of January 2016 and issued by then Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, which does not have the signature of the competent authority.

MOFIt reads further that this gazette, which was revealed during evidence given by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance on the 23rd of February to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on treasury bond issuances, is a unique example of fraudulent management of public debt by Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ajith Nivard Cabraal and his fellows in the Central Bank in violation of laws.

The Ministry says that this gazette contains authorization given to raise loans during the year 2015 through issuance of 31 treasury bonds of different redemption periods at different interest rates at auctions as notified by the Registrar of Public Debt through newspapers.

The statement also says that the required protocol had not been followed when issuing this gazette.

It reads that instead of following the procedure required when a gazette notification is issued by a Minister, the Superintendent of the Public Debt Department had directly sent it to the Government Printer, after getting legal clearance from the Central Bank lawyers.

Information is available that the gazette dated the 1st of January 2016 to be published by the name of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the year 2016, has already been sent to the government printer the same way in 2017.

The Ministry adds that the publication of this gazette was immediately withheld.

The Finance Ministry says that as such, all treasury bonds have been issued in violation of the provisions of the Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance.

Furthermore, the statement reads that a full report will be issued to the media after investigations and that corrective actions will be taken immediately.

The statement concludes that appropriate legal actions will be taken against those errant officers under the provisions of the Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance.

Senior Banker,Rusiripala Tennakoon charged that the statement is biased and baseless statement which has been issued disregarding the prevailing rules and regulations for ulterior motives.

RusirupalaHe points out that since the information on the Bond scam was made public,officials and politicians in connection to the matter are trying to suppress the issue hoping that the public’s lack of knowledge on the matter would help them get away.

[quote]”They believe that the people are fools, that they do not know anything about bonds, and therefore, they can say anything and get away with it. But they have failed. Thanks to the media and civil society forces, the public are becoming increasingly aware of this issue and they will continue to remain vigilant. Therefore, they cannot use such strategies to suppress this fraud.” -Senior Banker,Rusiripala Tennakoon-[/quote]

Attempts made to disrupt the investigations that are being held into the controversial bond issuance’s of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

1. A COPE committee appointed once again to investigate the Bond Issue.

– Footnotes placed by several members of COPE, resulting in the verdict being divided.

2. Auditor General issues report on the controversial bond scam.

– Letters addressed to intimidate the Auditor General.

Salary of the Auditor General not revised.

3. President appoints a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds.

– Attempts made to deviate the investigations of the said Commission, based on a Gazette notification issued on the 1st of January 2015.

 

The people of this country comprehend the efforts of certain individuals to acquit themselves from the shameful crime of looting the people’s money.


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