CB has given Rs. 66 bn to Perpetual Treasuries: Minister

Published : 8:23 am  October 28, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (291) reads | 

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BY SANDUN A JAYASEKERA COPE member and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Central Bank had given Rs. 66 billion to the primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries between February 2015 and March 2016 and added there was a prima facie case against former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in respect of his tenure as the governor.

Minister Jayasekara also said the information before the Parliamentary oversight committee (COPE) reveals that the Perpetual Treasuries has obtained these loans without any security and invested them in bonds. Addressing the weekly SLFP news conference, Minister Jayasekara said however, after an inquiry conducted under the new governor on the issue, the Perpetual Treasuries has been fined for a ridiculous Rs.21 million for the improper transaction.

“The deliberations of the COPE centred on the bond scam came to a conclusion at around 9.00 pm on Wednesday at Parliament and all members agreed to submit a common final report tomorrow to Parliament after sorting out all contentious issues. It was a credit to all COPE members for their patience and understanding that led to a unanimous decision to submit a single report after compromise and dialogue,” he said. Minister Jayasekara said the government and Parliament could decide on the next course of action after the COPE presented its report to Parliament and added its findings and recommendations were not in any way an attempt to incriminate or level charges against any individual or establishment. “But based on the recommendations and findings of the report any citizen, organization or a law enforcement authority like the Bribery Commission, the PRECIFAC or the FCID can file a case against any wrong doer,” Minister Jayasekara emphasized. Minister Jayasekara said it was extremely unusual and disproportionate that the Perpetual Properties alone had recorded a profit of 1853% from bond dealing while all other 15 primary dealers had earned only 37% of profits in 2015 and 2016 and added former governor Mahendran should not have accepted the governor’s post in the first place when he was offered it while his son-in-law was a primary dealer or at least he should have asked his son-in-law not to act as a primary dealer while he was serving as the governor. He said there must be a strong fool proof mechanism to deal with this kind of financial misappropriations involving the public money and the government must direct its attention on a priority basis to bring legislations if the current laws were inadequate to deal with major financial crimes.

He said even the leading State owned Commercial Bank, the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has given the Perpetual Treasuries Rs. 13 billion as loans and in many instances, the EPF has obtained loans only from this dealer. Minister Jayasekara said not only the actions of the Central Bank and the Perpetual Treasuries but all 292 State owned commercial ventures must be probed, introduced a modern and corruption-free management system, appoint qualified professionals to the top management and free all establishments from political interference. “One of the leading malaises that affect our State ventures is the top management does not accept the advice of professionals.