No minister can order CBSL

Senior State Counsel Bari..

‘I can’t comment on that’ – AM

Senior State Counsel Shahida Bari yesterday told former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, who was testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams, that there was no provision in the Monetary Law Act, empowering the line minister to give orders to the Central Bank. Mahendran said that he was not in a position to comment on that.

On an earlier occasion, Mahenran told the Commission that it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who had instructed him to stop direct placement system and adopt the auction method.

Answering further questions, Mahendran told the Commission that he was not aware that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed the state banks to bid at lower interest rates at bond auctions in March 2016.

Former Central Bank Governor said that the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank had not informed him of it.

Counsel Bari said since the Central Bank had accepted bid above the yield range the Finance Minister had mentioned to the state banks had adversely impacted on the state banks, Mahendran said he had learnt it from the newspapers. He said he did not know whether such instruction had been given whether they were right or wrong.

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