ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya has objected to an expected re-appointment of Nivard Cabraal, currently a state minister as governor of the central bank.
Wickramaratne told reporters the incumbent Governor has announced his resignation, which he was free to do so but that reports that Minister Cabraal would be re-appointed was not acceptable.
He said the central bank needed independence to maintain stability.
Under Sri Lanka’s monetary law, politicians could not be appointed as central bank governor, he said.
Resignation from office did not make it acceptable, he said.
Wickramaratne said there were conflicts of interest and questions over bond transactions between 2002 and 2015 on which a series of forensic audits had been done, involving the appointment of members Cabraal’s family.
According to the testimony in the report, conflicts had not been declared to the member of Monetary Board.
There was also a question of the central bank paying 8.5 million dollars to a man called Zuberi for political lobbying in the US who was subsequently convicted. According to reports it had been paid by the central bank without cabinet approval.
These reports should have been investigated, he said. In such a situation there will be concerns by rating agencies and other institutions, he warned. (Colombo/Sept14/2021)