Presidential Commission of Inquiry: AG questioned on report to COPE

Presidential Commission of Inquiry: AG questioned on report to COPE

By Keshala Dias

19 Jun, 2017 | 6:03 pm

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe was questioned on his report to COPE in relation to the issuance of bonds at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry today.

Day 54 of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry…

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe reiterated that his main focus was to determine the disadvantage caused to the state through doing away with Direct Placements and entering an auction only system from February 27,  2015.

He noted the minute in the initial option sheet which indicated the directive to accept Rs. 10.058 billion on  February 27, 2015, was taken into consideration.

When questioned why the second option sheet for the auction prepared by the Public Debt Department was not included in  his report, the Auditor General said a second option sheet was not available to them and only came to light when COPE was recording oral evidence.

The Auditor General said, the bids of large values which were placed during the final phase of the controversial auction, raised concerns and they were taken in to consideration when preparing the report.

Counsel Chanaka De Silva appearing for the former Governor, pointed out that 50% of the bids made on that day were placed after 10:30 a.m. and all bid placed by the Bank of Ceylon were between 10:56 and 10:57 that morning.

The Attorney also suggested that it was the former Assistant Superintendent of Public Debt Dr. M.Aazim that had made the decision to raise one billion rupees through the auction.

The Auditor General could not confirm that to the Commission.

It came to light that the total refunds from the EPF from 2010 to 2016 had increased gradually while the nett contributions have droped on an annual basis.

This was revealed when the counsel questioned the witness on the funding availability of the EPF.