Sri Lanka parliament body ignores central bank bond scam

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) did not probe into allegations of a multi-billion rupee bond scam involving his son-in-law that rocked the government last year.

“There were no allegations against me,” Mahendran told a news conference at the central bank held to discus the latest economic developments.

COPE on Thursday discussed reports of the auditor-general on central bank accounts for the three or fours years before 2015, he said.

Asked if the bond scam was taken up, Mahendran replied: “No, it was not discussed at all.”

Last July, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters he had suggested that Mahendran resign as central bank governor over revelations about the 10 billion rupee bond scam.

Mahendran faced calls to resign after it was revealed that in a February bond auction, 5 billion rupees in 30-year bonds were sold at sharply higher interest rates to Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer connected to his son-in-law, after asking a tender committee to accept bids from the firm which it had already rejected.