The Central Bank by ignoring the Auditor General’s advice, that an investment in Greek Bonds was "questionable" had lost Rs.3.4 billion, the main Opposition UNP said yesterday.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake MP, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that the Auditor General (AG), had questioned the viability of investing in Greece, which was facing its worst economic crisis, but the Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who was increasingly acting in a dictatorial manner, had gone ahead with the transaction.
The AG had also drawn Cabraal’s attention to the fact that the international rating agency, Moody’s, had downgraded Greece to ‘B1’. Even obligations rated ‘B’, were considered speculative and subject to high risk. However, the
advice was dismissed on the grounds that any possible losses could be recovered through the CB’s other investments, he said.
Attanayake said that the Greek Bonds fiasco comes amidst the recent revelation that EPF investments in the Colombo Stock Exchange, as at June 30, 2012 had resulted in losses totaling over Rs.12 billion.
"Mr Cabraal has no right to be playing around with the hard earned savings of workers," he said adding that it appeared the Governor was working to a political agenda instead of performing the role expected of his office, which until recently was held in high esteem.
Top officials of the Central Bank and EPF should be reigned in, before any further damage was caused, Attanayake said.
He said that the CB’s role was to provide sound advice to State institutions, but under Cabraal the need had arisen for the establishment of a mechanism to monitor him and the CB as a whole.