Activists demand action against those who attempted to implement an illegal national payment platform

Activists demand action against those who attempted to implement an illegal national payment platform

Activists demand action against those who attempted to implement an illegal national payment platform

Written by Keshala Dias

04 Aug, 2017 | 8:35 am

Civil society activists have stated that the law must be enforced against individuals who attempted to implement an illegal national payment platform.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is the only institution in the country mandated to regulate payments and settlements.These powers have been vested in the CBSL by the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949 and the Payment and Settlement Systems Act No. 28 of 2005.

However, disregarding these provisions, the CEO of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), Muhunthan Canagey, attempted to implement a national payment platform via the company ‘Total Pay’.

While the Central Bank’s regulatory powers were accepted when the proposal was presented to cabinet, the CBSL was completely disregarded in the recommendations put forward by an ad hoc committee.

In a letter dated July,2016 regarding this illegal endeavour, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy informed then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake that the regulatory powers of the Central Bank had been ignored completely.

In the letter, the Governor noted that all payment systems should be under the supervisory and regulatory role of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Ignoring the concerns raised, Muhunthan Canagey conferred the right to the Total Pay Company to carry out the task of digital consultancy.

When News1st submitted a request under the Right to Information Act, seeking the salary particulars of the ICTA CEO, the Secretary of the Ministry of Telecommunications Wasantha Deshapriya denied the request.

However, News1st revealed yesterday that according to his employment contract, Canagey receives a wage of Rs. 755,000 a month.

This is in addition to his fuel and vehicle allowance, bonuses and insurance cover. As per his contract, the minimum number of days he should report to work is three.

It is then estimated that Canagey works twelve days a month; his daily wage could be calculated as Rs. 62,916 and 66 cents.

Is the ministry Secretary concealing this information because such a large sum of money is paid to the ICTA CEO?

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