Ravi upset over Central Bank leaks, media portrayal

Feb 09, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister has expressed his concern about the leak of information with regard to closed door meetings at the island’s Central Bank, and media portrayal of it.

News from some boards have been leaked and then represented by politicians who have a vested interest in it, his media secretary said.

“The matters discussed at a closed door office such as a Monetary Board of the country’s premier Central Bank represented by very eminent professionals is getting leaked, in a fabricated manner targeting the minister. This is unbecoming of such personnel.”

“Under this context, how can the country’s premier Banking Regulatory Authority conduct its businesses, and what is the use of having a closed door meeting.”

A leading English newspaper, in its business lead story, had carried a news item portraying the Finance Minister as having proposed to the Monetary Board of the CBSL to appoint an outsider as the Deputy Governor of the Central bank.

Even the name of the Secretary to Treasury Dr. R.H.S Samarathunga, a member of the Monetary Board, has been mentioned as conveying the request of the Finance Minister to make such an appointment.

Monetary Board meetings consist of three deputy Governors and the Board Secretary from the Central bank are the only officials attending the meeting. Secretary to Treasury is an Ex-officio member and the other three are outsiders.

On the issue of the report called by the Finance minister from the Auditor General, the Minister never questioned the integrity of the said Minister but the system adopted by the AG to issue that report, the statement added.

The Minister interprets that he has the authority to receive a direct reply from the AG under Finance Act.

This is not an issue for other politicians to jump the gun against the Finance Minister, and “certain SLFP members of the Cabinet who say that they will safeguard the Auditor General are making it a political issue.”