New Central Bank Governor says upholding institution his primary duty

Indrajit-Coomaraswamy

July 04, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy says upholding the reputation and credibility of the institution will be his primary responsibility.

He said this giving an inaugural address to the staff of the Central Bank.

“The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is one of the great institutions in the country. I am cutely aware that arguably the primary responsibility of the governor is to uphold its reputation and credibility,” he said.

“I can assure you that I will do my utmost to do so at all times,” he said, adding he will need the cooperation of the bank staff to do so.

“It’s like coming back home after a long absence. Its a great pleasure, privilege and honor to be able to come back,” he said.

Outlining his discussion with the President and Prime Minister, the governor said President Maithripala Sirisena had requested that his policies are “straight” and that he doesn’t fear anybody as he caries out his duties.

To support the Prime Minister’s economic vision, there is a big role for the Central Bank to play, he said.

The priority would be in “creating a platform for macroeconomic stability with strong macroeconomic fundamentals, having financial sector stability” so that there is confidence right through the system, he said.

“For most of the time politics has trumped economics. It is our job to convince our politicians that good economics is good politics. As a central bank we have to get away from stop gap policies of creating artificial booms.”

Dr. Coomaraswamy is a Sri Lankan economist and he was the former Director Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Educated at the Royal College, Colombo and at Harrow School in England, he gained his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University and obtained his Doctorate at the University of Sussex.

Joining the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1973 he served in the Economic Research, Statistics and Bank Supervision Divisions as a staff officer till 1989. From 1981 to 1989 he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Thereafter he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990–2008, holding the posts of Director, Economic Affairs Division and Deputy-Director, Secretary-General’s Office and was brought back to the Commonwealth Secretariat to head the Social Transformation Programme Division, as Interim Director.